Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Terrorism Is a Cost of Empire

[ Jacob G. Hornberger ]
December 29 2009

To justify the federal government’s massive post-9/11 infringements on civil liberties, the proponents of Big Government have sometimes said, “There hasn’t been another major terrorist attack on the United States since 9/11. ”

I have responded with the following: “But if there had been another major terrorist attack, you Big Government advocates would be using that as a justification for even more severe infringements on civil liberties. So, either way you go, doesn’t Big Government win? ”

No one can deny that if the guy on that international flight to Detroit had succeeded in blowing up the plane, the Big Government advocates would be using that as an argument for having the federal government crack down even more on civil liberties.

And isn’t it interesting that the massive post-9/11 crackdown on civil liberties didn’t prevent the guy from apparently almost bringing down the plane. The fact that he failed doesn’t seem to have had anything to do with any security measures taken after 9/11. U.S. terrorism agents apparently even ignored or disregarded a personal warning from the guy’s father about his son’s extremist proclivities.

Even the anti-immigrant crowd is left empty-handed. It turns out that the guy apparently was entering the country legally, confirming what I’ve been saying ever since 9/11: That if people really want to keep out terrorists, they’ve got to put a total ban on foreign tourism to the United States. They’ve got to hermetically seal the United States, just like North Korea does.

Not surprisingly, the pro-empire crowd is using the incident to show why it is more urgent than ever to continue the brutal occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan and to expand killing the “bad guys” to Pakistan, Yemen, and who knows where else. The idea is that the government needs to keep killing those “bad guys” over there before they come here and kill us.

But as I’ve pointed out for years, the U.S. Empire has become the world’s biggest terrorist-producing machine. The more people it kills over there, the more the ranks of those who wish to retaliate against Americans are swelled.

In other words, the pro-empire advocates say, “We’re over there to kill them before they come over here and kill us. ” But what’s actually happening is this: They’re coming over here to kill us because the Empire is over there killing them.

What this is all about is the maintenance of the U.S. Empire — the “right” of the U.S. government to impose its will on countries around the world. Those regimes that cooperate receive U.S. taxpayer money. Those who refuse to cooperate receive bombs and missiles, or sanctions, embargoes, coups, assassinations, invasions, or occupations.

What the American people need to finally realize is that with Empire comes costs, including:

1. The meaningless deaths of U.S. soldiers. (No, they’re not dying to protect our rights and freedoms here at home but rather to maintain the hegemony of the Empire.)

2. The out-of-control federal spending that is sending our nation down the road to bankruptcy through debt, taxes, and inflation.

3. The constant threat of terrorist retaliation.

4. Ever-growing infringements on civil liberties.

The only way to avoid such costs is to dismantle the Empire, end the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan, close all the overseas bases, and bring all the troops home and discharge them. There is no other way. Either keep the Empire and accept the costs, or restore a republic and get peace, prosperity, harmony, normalcy, and freedom.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

More Blowback from U.S. Foreign Policy

[ Jacob G. Hornberger ] - 2009년 12월 15일
Some people are befuddled over the 5 young American men who allegedly traveled to Pakistan to take up arms against American troops.

The men have been described by high school friends as friendly, ordinary students of Muslim faith who bore no religious prejudice against Christians.

People who know the men are shocked to learn that they had apparently pursued plans to join insurgents in Pakistan or Afghanistan.

Of course, the underlying sentiment is this: How could such fine young Americans end up hating their country and its freedom and values?

Isn’t that the standard explanation as to why people in the Middle East commit acts of terrorism against the United States? Wasn’t that the official explanation for the 9/11 attacks?

Or there’s a variation, one that many pro-occupation supporters use even though it is not the official version provided by U.S. officials: The Muslims hate Christians and are on a jihad to kill them.

Such Americans just don’t get it.

It’s not that those five young men hate America for its freedom and values. And it’s not because they hate Christians.
According to the many people interviewed who know the men, there is not one iota of evidence to support either thesis.

Why can’t we just accept the simple fact: Those five young Americans traveled to Pakistan to take up arms against U.S. troops because the U.S. government is occupying Iraq and Afghanistan, killing, torturing, abusing, humiliating, and destroying people and property in the process?

You see, many Americans look at the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan and say, “Our government is there to kill the terrorists. If it wasn’t there killing the terrorists, the terrorists would be coming to kill us here in the United States.”

The problem is that such Americans have it backwards.
They think that the terrorism comes first, giving rise to the necessity for invading and occupying Iraq and Afghanistan to kill the terrorists before they come and kill more people in the United States.

Actually, it’s the other way around.

U.S. interventionism comes first.
For example, consider the brutal sanctions against Iraq during the 1990s, which killed hundreds of thousands of Iraqi children.
Consider also U.S. Ambassador to the UN Madeleine Albright’s infamous statement to “Sixty Minutes” that the deaths of half-a-million children from the sanctions were “worth it.”

Those two things made people in the Middle East terribly angry.

As year after year went by, with the death toll rising in Iraq, the anger began boiling over into rage.
After all, there was nothing that anyone, including Americans, could do to bring the sanctions and continuing death toll to a halt.
In fact, whenever an American was caught delivering humanitarian aid to the Iraqis in violation of the sanctions, he was prosecuted viciously by the U.S. government.

Moreover, fueling that fire of rage was the unconditional financial and military aid provided the Israeli government by the U.S. government, the deadly and illegal no-fly zones over Iraq, and the stationing of U.S. troops near Islamic holy lands.

The rage finally boiled over on September 11, 2001.

Actually, it had boiled over long before that.
In 1993, Ramzi Yousef committed a terrorist bombing of the World Trade Center.

At his sentencing hearing, he angrily pointed not to America’s freedom and values but to U.S. foreign policy, including the brutal sanctions on Iraq that had killed, even up to that point (1993) countless Iraqi children..

The twisted part of all this is that the U.S. government used the 9/11 attacks as an excuse to take the very types of intervention actions it had been doing before 9/11 — the things that gave rise to the anger and rage that had culminated in the terrorist attack in 1993 and then again on 9/11.

By invading Iraq and Afghanistan, the government continued killing more and more people in that part of the world, arguably many more people than the pre-9-11 sanctions had killed.

There is one — and only one — way to restore a sense of normality to our country: Withdraw all U.S. troops from overseas, beginning with Iraq and Afghanistan.

To think that the U.S. government can continue to kill people without incurring the risk of retaliation from people who sympathize with the victims of occupation is folly.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Audacity of Hype

The Audacity of Hype
by Richard W. Behan

President Obama's West Point speech was a brutal disappointment. Arguing to escalate the Afghan war, the President simply parroted the exaggerations, deceptions, and lies George Bush used so effectively in launching it.

The similarity, mostly ignored by our mainstream media, was apparent to the foreign press. In Germany the Spiegel Online lamented, "Never before has a speech by President Obama felt as false as his Tuesday address announcing America's new strategy for Afghanistan. It seemed like a campaign speech combined with Bush rhetoric..."

Mr. Obama's overarching untruth was his claim the Afghan war was a direct retaliation for al Qaida's terrorism of 9/11. That was President Bush's assertion as well, but it is intractably false. The commitments to invade and occupy both Iraq and Afghanistan were made by the Bush Administration within weeks of taking office in January of 2001, many months before the terrorist attacks.

9/11 was not the genesis of our adventures in the Middle East, and it did not call for full scale military warfare. Other nations victimized by international terrorism have always relied on police action to apprehend the criminals, but the Bush Administration meant to overthrow regimes instead: only warfare would accomplish that.

9/11 provided the Bush Administration a spectacular alibi for warmaking, and a heaven-sent opportunity to disguise its long-planned scheme of premeditated, unprovoked military aggression. The opportunity was seized in a heartbeat: a "War on Terror" -- fraudulent beyond any conceivable doubt -- was invented, and trumpeted incessantly for the rest of George Bush's tenure.

Having spoken the overarching untruth, President Obama then repeated the corollary lies: "We do not seek to occupy other nations. We will not claim another nation's resources."

But Mr. Bush's premeditated wars were designed to do exactly those things, and they have been alarmingly successful.

The War in Iraq

We know of a National Security Council memorandum of February 3,2001 addressing "...actions regarding the capture of new and existing oil and gas fields" in Iraq. We know Mr. Cheney's "Energy Task Force" at the same time was scrutinizing maps of the Iraqi oil fields and lists of prospective foreign oil company "suitors" to collaborate with Saddam Hussein's oil ministry. (Not a single major oil company from the U.S. or Britain was included.) We know the "Future of Iraq" policy development program was underway in the State Department a full year before Iraq was invaded; among other things it designed the postwar deconstruction and privatization of Iraq's nationalized oil industry. So the evidence is compelling: we invaded Iraq to gain access to the country's immense petroleum resources for American and British oil companies.

On December 1, 2009, the day of Mr. Obama's Afghanistan speech, a New York Times story reported the war's success in doing so. The story begins: "More than six and a half years after the United States-led invasion that many believed was about oil, the major oil companies are finally gaining access to Iraq's petroleum reserves." It tells how British Petroleum will soon be operating in the Rumaila oil field, among the largest on earth, which contains an estimated 17.8 billion barrels of oil. Exxon-Mobil and Royal Dutch/Shell will be working in the West Qurna field -- 8.6 billion barrels. California's Occidental Petroleum will be active in the Zubayr field, thought to contain 4.1 billion barrels. Before the end of the year development rights to ten more fields will be auctioned off to the oil companies.

President Obama must have missed the story altogether. "We will not claim another nation's resources," he said at West Point later in the day.

The War in Afghanistan

Waiting on President Bush's desk when he took office was an offer from the Taliban to surrender Osama bin Laden. It had been negotiated in the final days of the Clinton Administration, a result of the al Qaida attack on the U.S.S. Cole. The Bush Administration refused the offer three times in the nine months before the tragedy of 9/11, as it bargained with the Taliban for pipeline routes across Afghanistan -- a project desperately sought by America's Unocal Corporation. (Unocal has since been absorbed by Chevron/Texaco.) The Bush Administration offered a "carpet of gold" but threatened a "carpet of bombs," and twice during this period the Administration telegraphed its intent to launch a military action in Afghanistan "before the middle of October," if the pipeline negotiations failed. They did fail, on August 2, 2001, at the final negotiating meeting in Islamabad.

Six weeks later, on September 11, Osama bin Laden struck once more. The Taliban immediately sweetened the offer to surrender bin Laden: now they would also shut down his bases and training camps if the U.S. would forego a massive retaliatory bombing of Afghanistan. Still the Bush Administration refused, and on October 7, 2001, the carpet of bombs rained down -- precisely as the Administration had promised long months before the Trade Towers fell.

Soon the Bush Administration installed Hamid Karzai, previously a consultant to the Unocal Corporation, as the head of a provisional government. He signed a contract with President Musharraf of Pakistan for a pipeline across the two countries, and within a year the Bush Administration stood ready to finance its construction, through three federal agencies. And an oil industry trade journal announced "...the United States was willing to police the pipeline infrastructure through permanent stationing of its troops in the region."

But the immense pool of Iraqi crude -- 115 billion barrels -- was the ace of trumps. Building and policing the Afghan pipeline was put on hold when Mr. Bush turned his attention to the overthrow of Saddam Hussein.

During the presidential campaign, candidate Obama criticized the Bush Administration severely for doing this. Iraq was a "dumb war." The important struggle was in Afghanistan, and success was mandatory.

President Obama wasted little time in pursuing it. Earlier this year he sent 21,000 fresh troops to Afghanistan. Now he'll send 30,000 more, bringing the total to 101,000 in the country. Unannounced and scarcely noticed has been a 40% increase in the number of paramilitary "contractors" in Afghanistan; 104,000 mercenaries are now deployed there.

The United States has built and maintains 102 military bases in Afghanistan: 32 Camps; 37 Forward Operating Bases; 15 Fire Bases; 2 Compounds, one each in Gardez and Kabul; and 16 airfields. The bases blanket the pipeline routes.

Beyond question the "pipeline infrastructure," when it is built, will be adequately "policed."

How "permanently?" Mr. Obama pledged to start bringing the troops home in 2011, but Secretaries Clinton and Gates quickly assured the nation this might amount only to a "handful of troops." It is not meant to be an exit strategy. Mr. Gates said a significant U.S. military presence might remain in Afghanistan for as much as four years or more, depending on "conditions on the ground."

2013 and counting. Afghanistan will have been dominated by an American military presence for twelve years or more.

Does that not constitute, Mr. President, an occupation?

We have already ripped to shreds in Iraq the entire fabric of cultural, social, political, and economic institutions, for the huge and permanent advantage of Exxon/Mobil, British Petroleum, Royal Dutch/Shell, and Occidental Petroleum. Mission, finally, accomplished.

We have also ripped apart Afghanistan, but the situation there has not yet stabilized -- to provide a huge and permanent advantage to Chevron-Texaco. This mission of the Bush Administration has yet to be accomplished.

President Obama intends to finish the job, it seems.

Author's note: This essay is drawn largely from the author's 2008 electronic book, The Fraudulent War, which fully documents the story told above. The book in PDF format is available at no cost here: http://coldtype.net/Assets.08/pdfs/0308The%20Fraudulent%20War.pdf

Richard W. Behan lives and writes on Lopez Island, off the northwest coast of Washington state. He can be reached at rwbehan@rockisland.com

Monday, December 7, 2009

Et tu Obama?

Barak Hussein Obama: A GW BUSH in Sheep’s Clothing
December 7 2009

Et tu Obama?

It is a theatrical irony and Machiavellian hypocrisy to see that the first black US President, Barak Hussein Obama, issued orders to escalate and expand the imperial war in Afghanistan and at the same time embarked on a trip to Norway, after sashaying through the Copenhagen Climate Conference, in order to receive the Nobel Peace Price 2009...A War President dances as if he is a Peace President.

Imagine the pompous backdrop of Nobel Peace Prize Ceremony: a Negro President with blood-soaked hands solemnly accepts the most prestigious prize at the banquet filled with people in tuxedos, gowns, power, and money, while in remote Afghanistan village innocent children are murdered as the worthless collateral damage...and mumbling himself: “I don’t deserve this prize...but, what the heck, Kissinger, a butcher of Vietnam War got the prize, why not me? Heh! Heh! Heh!”

Old habits die hard, typically an imperialist endeavor to occupy other country, control other’s resources, and exploit other people in order to expand the imperial hegemony in every corner of the world.
To conceal these objectives, all the politicians tell lies hiding behind the rhetorical smokescreen and Obama is no exception no matter whether emperor’s skin color is yellow, black, or white...they all lie out of both sides of their mouth.

The only exception this time is that people, Americans and most of people worldwide, feverishly and jubilantly hoped, aspired, and anticipated that Negro’s ascendance to power surely brings some change or at least a change in the hegemonic agenda of the US imperialism.
From the beginning of the Obama’s Presidential inauguration to his war talk at the US Military Academy at West Point, people have kept a slim belief that Obama somewhat brings a change, even though he has kept Bush’s Robert Gates as his War Minister...and slim finally left the room and hope was snuffed out when he declared at West Point that he is surely a Bush the third (III).

If you closed your eyes and listen to the rhetoric that Obama eloquently babbled to the selected audience of the West Point cadets, you could be fantasized that George W Bush was still masturbating in the Oval Office.

Here are some transparent and white lies that he spewed out looking straight ahead into the camera:
“We did not ask for this fight.”
“We do not seek to occupy other nations.”
“We have not sought world domination.”
“We will not claim another nation’s resources.”
It’s not much difficult for you to tell what Obama claimed was a baloney, if you are not too stupid or dumb enough to be called a dittohead.

Obama manipulates to comfort his financially downtrodden people with the slogan, “Afghanistan is not Vietnam” or with a battle cry, “This time is different”, or a meaningless beyond the political maneuver, “We will withdraw our troops in July 2011”.
Obama knows what’s always in vogue in America...911, terror, and fright that haunt and agonize the American people in drove, as Joseph Goebbels once wrote: we must appeal again most primitive instinct of masses.

So Obama reminded the masses:
“New attacks are being plotted as I speak.”
“Afghan War is a war of necessity because of 911 attacks.”
“Unlike Vietnam, the American people were viciously attacked from Afghanistan.”
Obama’s ass was exposed earlier by his National Security Adviser who said less than one hundred al-Qaeda remain in Afghanistan, as if GW Bush claimed that Saddam Hussein was involved in 911 attacks.

Then, what’s the real agenda?
Why is the US still digging a hole in the graveyard of Empire?
Why is the corporate America spending billions of dollars when Afghanistan is the most poorest country in the world and definitely not a consumer-heaven nation?

For Big Oil in the US, the Holy Grail is to building the TAPI (Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India) pipeline, the natural gas pipeline from Turkmenistan through Eurasia avoiding the passage through Russia and Iran.
For the Military Industrial Complex in the US, they are the only one not to be a fall guy in the overall recession nationwide and garner big profit from manufacturing the killing machine continuously.

For the Pentagon, Afghanistan situates at the strategic doorstep to watch over the expansion of Russia and China toward the untapped energy fields.
For the Israeli-firsters, like Rahm Emanuel and David Axelrod, caging Iran with US forces makes sense to prepare for the next war to finalize the hegemonic war in the region where Israel has been enjoying for decades to be the one and only nuclear state.

For the Americans in general, they don’t seem to mind a war at all...imagine to bring those 150.000 soldiers plus the same number of private contractors home on top of 17.5 percent unemployed roaming around the town with a hat in hand? It’s better to see on a TV screen a trickle of plastic body-bags draped in flag with an Obama salute than a load of PTSD-stricken (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) gung-ho killers occupy at every street corner in cities, towns, and villages.
Only few liberal-minded wackos wave an antiwar placard and write a letter to Obama, believing that the President and his ilk ever read his letter.

Considering that Obama has become a serf of above-mentioned oilmen, CEOes, Generals, and Zionists, the US Military will never leave the region, Iraq and Afghanistan, for many decades to come, when you look at the backdrop of growing tensions in the area.
The Pentagon already mentioned about the South Korean model to be formulated in the dozens permanent US military bases in Iraq and why not in Afghanistan where a US poodle sits a president as a yes-man to his master.

It’s business as usual as in Bush era that the imperial projects and corporate rape of country have not altered under the Obama’s change slogan.
Obama only puts on sheep’s clothing over Bush’s flyboy jacket and talks a peace to end all peace, as if President Woodrow Wilson brayed the WWI as a war to end all war.
In any way, the die is cast, Obama now owns the Afghan war and he can’t say any more that he inherited the war from Bush II.
And while dice is still in the air, I would like to bet my ass: Obama is going to be the first Negro president with one-term Presidency and Sara Palin, a Republican buffoon, will be the first female president in 2012.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Addicted to Nonsense

December 1 2009
Chris Hedges

Will Tiger Woods finally talk to the police?
Who will replace Oprah? (Not that Oprah can ever be replaced, of course.)
And will Michaele and Tareq Salahi, the couple who crashed President Barack Obama's first state dinner, command the hundreds of thousands of dollars they want for an exclusive television interview?
Can Levi Johnston, father of former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's grandson, get his wish to be a contestant on "Dancing With the Stars"?

The chatter that passes for news, the gossip that is peddled by the windbags on the airwaves, the noise that drowns out rational discourse, and the timidity and cowardice of what is left of the newspaper industry reflect our flight into collective insanity.
We stand on the cusp of one of the most seismic and disturbing dislocations in human history, one that is radically reconfiguring our economy as it is the environment, and our obsessions revolve around the trivial and the absurd.

What really matters in our lives-the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the steady deterioration of the dollar, the mounting foreclosures, the climbing unemployment, the melting of the polar ice caps and the awful reality that once the billions in stimulus money run out next year we will be bereft and broke-doesn't fit into the cheerful happy talk that we mainline into our brains.

We are enraptured by the revels of a dying civilization.

Once reality shatters the airy edifice, we will scream and yell like petulant children to be rescued, saved and restored to comfort and complacency.
There will be no shortage of demagogues, including buffoons like Sarah Palin, who will oblige.
We will either wake up to face our stark new limitations, to retreat from imperial projects and discover a new simplicity, as well as a new humility, or we will stumble blindly toward catastrophe and neofeudalism.

Celebrity worship has banished the real from public discourse.

And the adulation of celebrity is pervasive.
The frenzy around political messiahs, or the devotion of millions of viewers to Oprah, is all part of the yearning to see ourselves in those we worship.

We seek to be like them.

We seek to make them like us.

If Jesus and "The Purpose Driven Life" won't make us a celebrity, then Tony Robbins or positive psychologists or reality television will.

We are waiting for our cue to walk onstage and be admired and envied, to become known and celebrated.

Nothing else in life counts.

We yearn to stand before the camera, to be noticed and admired.

We build pages on social networking sites devoted to presenting our image to the world.

We seek to control how others think of us.

We define our worth solely by our visibility.

We live in a world where not to be seen, in some sense, is to not exist.

We pay lifestyle advisers to help us look and feel like celebrities, to build around us the set for the movie of our own life.

Martha Stewart constructed her financial empire, when she wasn't engaged in insider trading, telling women how to create a set design for the perfect home.
The realities within the home, the actual family relationships, are never addressed.

Appearances make everything whole.

Plastic surgeons, fitness gurus, diet doctors, therapists, life coaches, interior designers and fashion consultants all, in essence, promise to make us happy, to make us celebrities.

And happiness comes, we are assured, with how we look, with the acquisition of wealth and power, or at least the appearance of it.

Glossy magazines like Town & Country cater to the absurd pretensions of the very rich to be celebrities.
They are photographed in expensive designer clothing inside the lavishly decorated set pieces that are their homes.

The route to happiness is bound up in how skillfully we present ourselves to the world.
We not only have to conform to the dictates of this manufactured vision, but we also have to project an unrelenting optimism and happiness.

Hedonism and wealth are openly worshiped on Wall Street as well as on shows such as "The Hills," "Gossip Girl," "Sex and the City," "My Super Sweet 16" and "The Real Housewives of (whatever bourgeois burg happens to be in vogue)."

The American oligarchy-1 percent of whom control more wealth than the bottom 90 percent combined-are the characters we most envy and watch on television.
They live and play in multimillion-dollar mansions.
They marry models or professional athletes.
They are chauffeured in stretch limos.
They rush from fashion shows to movie premieres to fabulous resorts.
They have surgically enhanced, perfect bodies and are draped in designer clothes that cost more than some people make in a year.

This glittering life is held before us like a beacon.
This life, we are told, is the most desirable, the most gratifying. And this is the life we want.
Greed is good, we believe, because one day through our acquisitions we will become the elite.
So let the rest of the bastards suffer.

The working class, comprising tens of millions of struggling Americans, are locked out of television's gated community.
They are mocked, even as they are tantalized, by the lives of excess they watch on the screen in their living rooms.

Almost none of us will ever attain these lives of wealth and power.
Yet we are told that if we want it badly enough, if we believe sufficiently in ourselves, we too can have everything.
We are left, when we cannot adopt these impossible lifestyles as our own, with feelings of inferiority and worthlessness.
We have failed where others have succeeded.

We consume these countless lies daily.

We believe the false promises that if we spend more money, if we buy this brand or that product, if we vote for this candidate, we will be respected, envied, powerful, loved and protected.

The flamboyant lives of celebrities and the outrageous characters on television, movies, professional wrestling and sensational talk shows are peddled to us, promising to fill up the emptiness in our own lives.

Celebrity culture encourages everyone to think of themselves as potential celebrities, as possessing unique if unacknowledged gifts.
Faith in ourselves, in a world of make-believe, is more important than reality.

Reality, in fact, is dismissed and shunned as an impediment to success, a form of negativity.
The New Age mysticism and pop psychology of television personalities and evangelical pastors, along with the array of self-help best-sellers penned by motivational speakers, psychiatrists and business tycoons, peddle this fantasy.

Reality is condemned in these popular belief systems as the work of Satan, as defeatist, as negativity or as inhibiting our inner essence and power.
Those who question, those who doubt, those who are critical, those who are able to confront reality, along with those who grasp the hollowness and danger of celebrity culture, are condemned for their pessimism or intellectualism.

The illusionists who shape our culture, and who profit from our incredulity, hold up the gilded cult of Us.
Popular expressions of religious belief, personal empowerment, corporatism, political participation and self-definition argue that all of us are special, entitled and unique.

All of us, by tapping into our inner reserves of personal will and undiscovered talent, by visualizing what we want, can achieve, and deserve to achieve, happiness, fame and success.
This relentless message cuts across ideological lines.
This mantra has seeped into every aspect of our lives.
We are all entitled to everything.
And because of this self-absorption, and deep self-delusion, we have become a country of child-like adults who speak and think in the inane gibberish of popular culture.

Celebrities who come from humble backgrounds are held up as proof that anyone can be adored by the world.
These celebrities, like saints, are examples that the impossible is always possible. Our fantasies of belonging, of fame, of success and of fulfillment are projected onto celebrities.

These fantasies are stoked by the legions of those who amplify the culture of illusion, who persuade us that the shadows are real.
The juxtaposition of the impossible illusions inspired by celebrity culture and our "insignificant" individual achievements, however, is leading to an explosive frustration, anger, insecurity and invalidation.

It is fostering a self-perpetuating cycle that drives the frustrated, alienated individual with even greater desperation and hunger away from reality, back toward the empty promises of those who seduce us, who tell us what we want to hear.
The worse things get, the more we beg for fantasy.
We ingest these lies until our faith and our money run out.
And when we fall into despair we medicate ourselves, as if the happiness we have failed to find in the hollow game is our deficiency.
And, of course, we are told it is.

I spent two years traveling the country to write a book on the Christian right called "American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America."

I visited former manufacturing towns where for many the end of the world is no longer an abstraction.
Many have lost hope. Fear and instability have plunged the working class into profound personal and economic despair, and, not surprisingly, into the arms of demagogues and charlatans of the radical Christian right who offer a belief in magic, miracles and the fiction of a utopian Christian nation.

Unless we rapidly re-enfranchise these dispossessed workers, insert them back into the economy, unless we give them hope, these demagogues will rise up to take power. Time is running out.
The poor can dine out only so long on illusions.
Once they grasp that they have been betrayed, once they match the bleak reality of their future with the fantasies they are fed, once their homes are foreclosed and they realize that the jobs they lost are never coming back, they will react with a fury and vengeance that will snuff out the remains of our anemic democracy and usher in a new dark age.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

The real story behind the Thanksgiving Day

The Real Story behind the Thanksgiving Day

by Habib Siddiqui

(Sunday, November 29, 2009)


The killings became more and more frenzied, with days of thanksgiving feasts being held after each successful massacre. Susan Bates writes, "George Washington finally suggested that only one day of Thanksgiving per year be set aside instead of celebrating each and every massacre. Later Abraham Lincoln decreed Thanksgiving Day to be a legal national holiday during the Civil War -- on the same day he ordered troops to march against the starving Sioux in Minnesota."


Thanksgiving Day is the most observed holiday in the USA, which is celebrated by people of all races, colors, ethnicities and even religions. It is a day in which family members gather to eat turkey, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie. According to some estimates, nearly 40 million turkeys are eaten over this long weekend. Thanksgiving holiday falls on the last Thursday of November. There is even a White House event in which the President pardons a turkey on Wednesday. That lucky turkey gets to live — and fly first class to Disneyland, where it is grand marshal in the Thanksgiving Day parade. Unfortunately, another nameless bird gets slaughtered in his place. Of course, many would find something wrong with this concept, which sounds like "A Tale of Two Cities!" The turkey-pardoning is supposed to be a long-running national tradition, but it officially only dates back to George H. W. Bush and 1989.

Like every other major popular celebration in our world, Thanksgiving has its history, and if I may say, not a pleasant one – the kind that we often hear which associates it with the "Pilgrims" that landed in the New World. According to a single-paragraph account in the writings of one Pilgrim, a harvest feast did take place in Plymouth in 1621, probably in mid-October, but the Indians who attended were not even invited. Though, it later became known as "Thanksgiving," with giving thanks to God for the harvests of the land, the Pilgrims never called it that.

So, what did really happen in Plymouth in 1621? For that we have to dig deeper into history, away from popular myths and traditions -- the imagery of a picnic of interracial harmony -- and come to terms with some of the most terrifying bloodsheds in New World history. [In what follows below I summarize some historical accounts. Interested readers may like to read the book - "The Hidden history of Massachusetts: A Guide for Black Folks," by Tingba Apidta and other books that were written by the descendants of Native American Indians.]

We are told that on "September 6, 1620 the Pilgrims had set sail for the New World on a ship called the Mayflower. They sailed from Plymouth, England and aboard were 44 Pilgrims, who called themselves the "Saints", and 66 others, whom the Pilgrims called the "Strangers." The long trip led to many disagreements between the "Saints" and the "Strangers". After land was sighted on November 10, a meeting was held and an agreement was worked out, called the Mayflower Compact, which guaranteed equality and unified the two groups. They joined together and named themselves the "Pilgrims." Although they had first sighted land off Cape Cod they did not settle until they arrived at Plymouth, which had been named by Captain John Smith in 1614." It is worth noting here that in 1614 when a band of English explorers sailed home to England with a ship full of Patuxet Indians bound for slavery, they left behind smallpox which virtually wiped out those who had escaped. 

When the Pilgrims crossed the Atlantic Ocean in 1620, they landed on the rocky shores of a territory that was inhabited by the Wampanoag (Wam pa NO ag) Indians. It was there that the Pilgrims decide to settle. Plymouth offered an excellent harbor. A large brook offered a resource for fish. The Pilgrims biggest concern was attack by the local Native American Indians. But the latter were a peaceful group and did not prove to be a threat.

Any visitor to a Wampanoag home was provided with a share of whatever food the family had, even if the supply was low. This same courtesy was extended to the Pilgrims when they met.

We can only guess what the Wampanoags must have thought when they first saw the strange ships of the Pilgrims arriving on their shores. But their custom was to help visitors, and they treated the newcomers with courtesy. It was mainly because of their kindness that the Pilgrims survived at all. The wheat the Pilgrims had brought with them to plant would not grow in the rocky soil.

On March 16, 1621, what was to become an important event took place, an Indian brave walked into the Plymouth settlement. The Pilgrims were frightened until the Indian called out "Welcome" (in English). His name was Samoset and he was an Abnaki Indian. He had learned English from the captains of fishing boats that had sailed off the coast. After staying the night Samoset left the next day. He soon returned with another Indian named Squanto (SKWAN toe) who spoke better English than Samoset. Squanto told the Pilgrims of his voyages across the ocean and his visits to England and Spain. It was in England where he had learned English. Squanto's importance to the Pilgrims was enormous and it can be said that they would not have survived without his help.

The Pilgrims needed to learn new ways for a new world. They were not in good condition. They were living in dirt-covered shelters, there was a shortage of food, and nearly half of them had died during the winter. They obviously needed help. Squanto brought them deer meat and beaver skins. He taught them how to cultivate corn and other new vegetables and how to build Indian-style houses. He pointed out poisonous plants and showed how other plants could be used as medicine. He explained how to dig and cook clams, how to get sap from the maple trees, use fish for fertilizer, and dozens of other skills needed for their survival. By the time fall arrived things were going much better for the Pilgrims, thanks to the help they had received. The Pilgrims decided to have a thanksgiving feast to celebrate their good fortune. They had observed thanksgiving feasts in November as religious obligations in England for many years before coming to the New World.

Captain Miles Standish, the leader of the Pilgrims, invited Squanto, Samoset, Massasoit (the leader of the Wampanoags), and their immediate families to join them for a celebration, but they had no idea how big Indian families could be. As the Thanksgiving feast began, the Pilgrims were overwhelmed at the large turnout of ninety relatives that Squanto and Samoset brought with them. The Pilgrims were not prepared to feed a gathering of people that large for three days. Seeing this, Massasoit gave orders to his men within the first hour of his arrival to go home and get more food. Thus it happened that the Indians supplied the majority of the food.

For three days the Wampanoags feasted with the Pilgrims. It was a special time of friendship between two very different groups of people. A peace and friendship agreement was made between Massasoit and Miles Standish giving the Pilgrims the clearing in the forest where the old Patuxet village once stood to build their new town of Plymouth.

Contrary to the fabricated lore of storyteller generations no Pilgrims prayed at the meal. What's more, they consumed a good deal of home brew. In fact, each Pilgrim drank at least a half gallon of beer a day, which they preferred even to water. This daily inebriation led their governor, William Bradford, to comment on his people's "notorious sin," which included their "drunkenness and uncleanliness" and rampant "sodomy".

Later as the pilgrims grew in number they started showing intolerance to the Indians and their religion. The relationship deteriorated. Any Indian who came within the vicinity of the Pilgrim settlement was subject to robbery, enslavement, or even murder. The Pilgrims further advertised their evil intentions when they mounted five cannons on a hill around their settlement, constructed a platform for artillery, and then organized their soldiers into four companies - all in preparation for the military destruction of the Native American Indians.

Pilgrim Miles Standish went to the Indians, pretended to be a trader, and then beheaded an Indian man named Wituwamet. He brought the head to Plymouth, where it was displayed on a wooden spike for many years, according to Gary B. Nash, "as a symbol of white power." Standish had the Indian man's young brother hanged from the rafters for good measure. From that time on, the whites were known to the Indians of Massachusetts by the name "Wotowquenange," which in their tongue meant cutthroats and stabbers. A monument in Weymouth, rededicated in 1923 to commemorate the 300th anniversary of settlement, still bears testimony to the encounter between the natives and the white settlers under Miles Standish that killed Indian chiefs Pecksuot and Wituwamet in March, 1623.

By the mid 1630s, a new group of 700 even holier Europeans, calling themselves Puritans, had arrived on 11 ships and settled in Boston, which only served to accelerate the brutality against the Indians.

In one incident in 1637, a force of whites trapped some seven hundred Pequot Indians, mostly women, children, and the elderly, who had gathered for their annual Green Corn Festival near the mouth of the Mystic River, near present day Groton, Connecticut. Under the leadership of Englishman John Mason, in the predawn hours the sleeping Indians were surrounded by English and Dutch mercenaries who ordered them to come outside.  Those who came out were shot or clubbed to death while the terrified women and children who huddled inside the longhouse were burned alive. Only a handful escaped and few prisoners were taken-to the apparent delight of the Europeans: To see them frying in the fire, and the streams of their blood quenching the same, and the stench was horrible; but the victory seemed a sweet sacrifice. The next day the governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony declared "A Day of Thanksgiving" because 700 unarmed men, women and children had been murdered. This event marked the first actual Thanksgiving.

According to Susan Bates (who writes on Native American issues), "Cheered by their "victory", the brave colonists and their Indian allies attacked village after village. Women and children over 14 were sold into slavery while the rest were murdered.  Boats loaded with a many as 500 slaves regularly left the ports of New England. Bounties were paid for Indian scalps to encourage as many deaths as possible.  Following an especially successful raid against the Pequot in what is now  Stamford, Connecticut, the churches announced a second day of "thanksgiving" to celebrate victory over the heathen savages.  During the feasting, the hacked off heads of Natives were kicked through the streets like soccer balls.  Even the friendly Wampanoag did not escape the madness. Their chief was beheaded, and his head impaled on a pole in Plymouth, Massachusetts -- where it remained on display for 24 years."[1]

In just 10 years, 12,000 whites had invaded New England, and as their numbers grew they pressed for all-out extermination of the Indian. Euro-diseases had reduced the population of the Massachusetts nation from over 24,000 to less than 750; meanwhile, the number of European settlers in Massachusetts rose to more than 20,000 by 1646.

By 1675, the Massachusetts Englishmen were in a full-scale war with the great Indian chief of the Wampanoags, Metacomet. Renamed "King Philip" by the white man, Metacomet watched the steady erosion of the lifestyle and culture of his people as European-imposed laws and values engulfed them.

In 1671, the white men had ordered Metacomet to come to Plymouth to enforce upon him a new treaty, which included the humiliating rule that he could no longer sell his own land without prior approval from whites. They also demanded that he turn in his community's firearms. Marked for extermination by the merciless power of a distant king and his ruthless subjects, Metacomet retaliated in 1675 with raids on several isolated frontier towns. Eventually, the Indians attacked 52 of the 90 New England towns, destroying 13 of them. The Englishmen ultimately regrouped, and after much bloodletting defeated the great Indian nation, just half a century after their arrival on Massachusetts soil. Historian Douglas Edward Leach describes the bitter end: "The ruthless executions, the cruel sentences...were all aimed at the same goal-unchallengeable white supremacy in southern New England. That the program succeeded is convincingly demonstrated by the almost complete docility of the local native ever since."

When Captain Benjamin Church tracked down and murdered Metacomet in 1676, his body was quartered and parts were "left for the wolves." The great Indian chief's hands were cut off and sent to Boston and his head went to Plymouth, where it was set upon a pole on the real first "day of public Thanksgiving for the beginning of revenge upon the enemy."

As the Native American Holocaust continued, several official Thanksgiving Days were proclaimed. Governor Joseph Dudley declared in 1704 a "General Thanksgiving"- not in celebration of the brotherhood of man - but for [God's] infinite Goodness to extend His Favors...In defeating and disappointing... the Expeditions of the Enemy [Indians] against us, And the good Success given us against them, by delivering so many of them into our hands.

Just two years later one could reap a £50 reward in Massachusetts for the scalp of an Indian-demonstrating that the practice of scalping was a European tradition. According to one scholar, "Hunting redskins became...a popular sport in New England, especially since prisoners were worth good money…" [The Hidden History of Massachusetts: A Guide for Black Folks ©Dr. Tingba Apidta; ISBN 0-9714462-0-2]

At the end of that conflict most of the New England Indians were either exterminated or made refugees among the French in Canada, or they were sold into slavery in the Carolinas by the Puritans. So successful was these early trade in Indian slaves that several Puritan ship owners in Boston began the practice of raiding the Ivory Coast of Africa for black slaves to sell to the proprietary colonies of the South, thus founding the American-based slave trade.

The killings became more and more frenzied, with days of thanksgiving feasts being held after each successful massacre. Susan Bates writes, "George Washington finally suggested that only one day of Thanksgiving per year be set aside instead of celebrating each and every massacre. Later Abraham Lincoln decreed Thanksgiving Day to be a legal national holiday during the Civil War -- on the same day he ordered troops to march against the starving Sioux in Minnesota."

Mary Shaw writes in the Philadelphia Freedom Blog: "In 1830, as the "settlers" pushed westward, the 23rd Congress of the United States passed the "Indian Removal Act", legitimizing the land greed of the white "settlers" and resulting in the death or displacement of countless Native Americans. This legislation was signed into law by none other than all-American action hero President Andrew Jackson himself…The Native Americans who survived were herded onto reservations, where they faced their own set of challenges. This form of apartheid separated Native Americans physically, socially, and economically from the world outside the reservation. Traditionally, nomadic hunter societies were forced to learn to farm for their subsistence. Disenfranchised and disillusioned, the Native American population came to face the highest rates of poverty, suicide, alcoholism, and teen pregnancy amongst ethnic groups in the U.S. -- a trend that continues to this day. All because of the selfish, imperialistic dreams of the white man." [2]

Before I close this sad saga of thanksgiving, we need to understand the "Pilgrims." So who were these European Pilgrims? We are told that the "Pilgrims" were a sub sect, or splinter group, of the Puritan movement. They came to America to achieve on this continent what their Puritan brethren continued to strive for in England; and when the Puritans were forced from England, they came to New England and soon absorbed the original "Pilgrims."

According to Chuck Larsen (who is a teacher and a Native American), "The Puritans were not just simple religious conservatives persecuted by the King and the Church of England for their unorthodox beliefs. They were political revolutionaries who not only intended to overthrow the government of England, but who actually did so in 1649.

"The Puritan "Pilgrims" who came to New England were not simply refugees who decided to "put their fate in God's hands" in the "empty wilderness" of North America. Mainstream Englishmen considered the Pilgrims to be deliberate religious dropouts who intended to found a new nation completely independent from non-Puritan England. In 1643 the Puritan/Pilgrims declared themselves an independent confederacy, one hundred and forty-three years before the American Revolution. They believed in the imminent occurrence of Armageddon in Europe and hoped to establish here in the new world the "Kingdom of God" foretold in the book of Revelation. They diverged from their Puritan brethren who remained in England only in that they held little real hope of ever being able to successfully overthrow the King and Parliament and, thereby, impose their "Rule of Saints" (strict Puritan orthodoxy) on the rest of the British people. So they came to America not just in one ship (the Mayflower) but in a hundred others as well, with every intention of taking the land away from its native people to build their prophesied "Holy Kingdom." [See Blitzer, Charles, "Age of Kings," Great Ages of Man series, references to Puritanism, pp. 141, 144 & 145-46. Also see Jennings, Francis, "The Invasion of America," references to Puritan human motives, pp. 4-6, 43- 44 and 53.]

"The Pilgrims were not just innocent refugees from religious persecution. They were victims of bigotry in England, but some of them were themselves religious bigots by our modern standards. The Puritans and the Pilgrims saw themselves as the "Chosen Elect" mentioned in the book of Revelation. They strove to "purify" first themselves and then everyone else of everything they did not accept in their own interpretation of scripture. Later New England Puritans used any means, including deceptions, treachery, torture, war, and genocide to achieve that end. They saw themselves as fighting a holy war against Satan, and everyone who disagreed with them was the enemy. This rigid fundamentalism was transmitted to America by the Plymouth colonists, and it sheds a very different light on the "Pilgrim" image we have of them. This is best illustrated in the written text of the Thanksgiving sermon delivered at Plymouth in 1623 by "Mather the Elder." In it, Mather the Elder gave special thanks to God for the devastating plague of smallpox which wiped out the majority of the Wampanoag Indians who had been their benefactors. He praised God for destroying "chiefly young men and children, the very seeds of increase, thus clearing the forests to make way for a better growth", i.e., the Pilgrims."[3]

Thus, we know that the Pilgrims were no saints; far from being God-fearing individuals they were savages bent on colonizing America for the "good" white soul at the exclusion of their hosts – the Native Americans -- who had settled in the New World hundreds of years ago! So how and why this contemporary mix of myth and history about the "First" Thanksgiving at Plymouth developed? According to Chuck Larsen, it developed "in the 1890s and early 1900s. Our country was desperately trying to pull together its many diverse peoples into a common national identity. This was the era of the "melting pot" theory of social progress, and public education was a major tool for social unity. It was with this in mind that the federal government declared the last Thursday in November as the legal holiday of Thanksgiving in 1898."

Today, the town of Plymouth Rock has a Thanksgiving ceremony each year in remembrance of the first Thanksgiving. There are still Wampanoag people living in Massachusetts. In 1970, they asked one of them to speak at the ceremony to mark the 350th anniversary of the Pilgrim's arrival. Frank B. James, president of the Federated Eastern Indian League, prepared a speech. But he was not allowed to deliver it; the Massachusetts officials told him to write another. James declined to speak, and on that Thanksgiving Day hundreds of Indians from around the country came to protest. It was the first National Day of Mourning for them.

Here is part of what James wrote: "Today is a time of celebrating for you -- a time of looking back to the first days of white people in America. But it is not a time of celebrating for me. It is with a heavy heart that I look back upon what happened to my People. When the Pilgrims arrived, we, the Wampanoags, welcomed them with open arms, little knowing that it was the beginning of the end. That before 50 years were to pass, the Wampanoag would no longer be a tribe. That we and other Indians living near the settlers would be killed by their guns or dead from diseases that we caught from them. Let us always remember, the Indian is and was just as human as the white people. Although our way of life is almost gone, we, the Wampanoags, still walk the lands of Massachusetts. What has happened cannot be changed. But today we work toward a better America, a more Indian America where people and nature once again are important."

We are told that President Obama did not seem all that thrilled about the Turkey event. He said, "There are certain days that remind me of why I ran for this office. And then there are moments like this, where I pardon the turkey and send it to Disneyland." I don’t know whether President Obama ate Turkey this Thanksgiving Day. But if he did, can you blame him for upholding a tradition in the White House that says you can pardon your turkey and eat it, too? Or, may be that he ate Turkey for the right reason – to renew our commitment to building a more peaceful and prosperous future that every American family can enjoy, echoing the passionate call by Frank James some 39 years ago!


[1]. http://tinyurl.com/ykqmpge

[2]. Shaw, Mary, “What’s Thanksgiving all about?” Philadelphia Freedom Blog, November 22, 2009, http://tinyurl.com/yfkdwrw

[3]. http://tinyurl.com/5eoqg6

Some other good references (External):

(1) Berkhofer, Jr., R.F., "The White Man's Indian."

(2) Jennings, Francis, "The Invasion of America."

(3) Blitzer, Charles, "Age of Kings," Great Ages of Man series.

(4) See "Chronicles of American Indian Protest," pp. 6-10. Also see Armstrong, Virginia I., "I Have Spoken."

(5) See Larsen, Charles M., "The Real Thanksgiving," pp. 3-4. Also see Graff, Steward and Polly Ann, "Squanto, Indian Adventurer." Also see "Handbook of North American Indians," Vol. 15, the reference to Squanto on p. 82.

(6) See Benton-Banai, Edward, "The Mishomis Book," as a reference on general "Anishinabe" (the Algonkin speaking people’s) religious beliefs and practices.

(7) See Graff, Stewart and Polly Ann, "Squanto, Indian Adventurer." Also see Bradford, Sir William, "Of Plymouth Plantation," and "Mourt's Relation."

(8) See "Handbook of North American Indians," Vol. 15.

(9) Manataka American Indian Council, (see Bates, Susan, “The Real Story of Thanksgiving,” Larsen, Chuck, “Introduction for Teachers,” and “The Plymouth Thanksgiving Story,” http://tinyurl.com/yle9wkr

(10) Paul, Daniel N., “First Nations History: We Were Not the Savages,” 3rd Ed., Fernwood Publishing, September (2006); www.danielpaul.com

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Finish the Job?

Missie Comley Beattie

By I received an email from the Friends Committee on National Legislation, urging me to call the White House and voice my opinion about additional troops to Afghanistan.
Recently, I decided no more of this waste-of-time bullshit.
But I needed to vent.

I had just read the article in which Obama said he intends to ‘finish the job that began with the overthrow of the Taliban government in the fall of 2001.’ (The New York Times, Nov. 24, 2009 by Zeleny and Stout)

‘Finish the job’ sounds so very George Bushian, sort of like “Mission Accomplished” or “You’re either with us or against us,” or “We’re fightin’ ‘em over there so we don’t have to fight ‘em over here.”

You know, those imbecilic utterances to which you had such a visceral reaction you thought you might heave and expel the entire contents of your gastrointestinal tract.

So, when I read Obama’s in-the-same-category bluster—his prelude to a new and winning strategy, I reached for the phone and waited, on hold, because apparently, so many people had the same impulse and were calling the White House.

Four troops were just killed in Afghanistan—another in Iraq. Five families have heard the “We regret to inform you.” Five families are in a nightmare of shock, agony, and disbelief, thinking, hoping, that maybe there’s some mistake.

“This isn’t real. No, no, no,” over and over they will say for not just days and months, but years. “Please, this can’t be real.”

And this raises the absent-from-mainstream reportage about all the Afghan families, Iraqi, and, now, Pakistani, who have lost loved ones in this cataclysmic and opportunistic grab for power and resources, launched under the guise of avenging 9/11 and ridding the world of terrorism.

In Iraq, the number of dead civilians exceeds a million while a United Nations report informs that in the first 10 months of 2009, over 2000 Afghan civilians were killed.

Yet, the Afghanistan conflict is the "right war" that our president is going to ‘finish’ by sending more troops to motivate greater hatred of the United States, our country whose imperialistic foreign policy demands that all politicians say “God Bless America” at the end of every speech.

It is our hubris and reprehensible US doctrine of dictating to the rest of the world when to inhale and exhale along with a disregard for anyone considered The Other that compelled me to phone and, then, to wait. I heard a recording, that I was holding for the next comment operator. “Your call is important to the President. Thank you for your patience.”

“I’m not patient,” I wanted to scream. Truth is I’m pretty effing far from patient. And, yet, I stayed on the line.

Finally, a volunteer answered. I told her I was calling to state my opposition to a troop increase and that I wanted, instead, troop withdrawal. I could feel myself, building up, up, up to a crescendo of words and emotions that I knew would never be considered:

For military families and for the people of Afghanistan, and not just that country but Iraq and Pakistan, I want an end to the violence that is war.

And the operator said, “I will pass this on to the President.”

“Where it will be ignored,” I said.

Barack Obama’s plan is to ‘dismantle and degrade’ our enemies. But the real and present consequence of our acts of mass destruction are dismantling and degrading not just our country but also our humanity

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Norm, Chuck, and Al

Fear and loathing on an American campus

04.14.2007 | The Independent

I have a desire to take Norm, Chuck and Al and bang their bloody heads together

by Robert Fisk

On the night of 11 September 2001, Al Dershowitz of Harvard law school exploded in anger. Robert Fisk, he roared over Irish radio, was a dangerous man. I was “pro-terrorist”. I was “anti-American” and that, Dershowitz announced to the people of County Mayo, “is the same as anti-Semitic”.

Of course I had dared to ask the “Why” question; Why had 19 Arabs flown aircraft into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and Pennsylvania? Take any crime on the streets of London and the first thing Scotland Yard does is look for a motive. But when we had international crimes against humanity on the scale of New York, Washington and Pennsylvania, the first thing we were not allowed to do was look for a motive. How very odd. The 19 murderers came from a place called the Middle East. Was there a problem out there?

But Al would have none of this. And I got the message. To ask the “Why” question made me a Nazi. Which is why I subsequently received a flood of mail, much of it from Denver - what has Denver got against me? - telling me that my mother was Adolf Eichmann’s daughter. Thanks, Al. I’m sure you didn’t dream of the hate mail your silly diatribe will inspire. I guess Irish radio host Eamon Dunphy did. He pulled the plug on Al.

I’m recalling all this nonsense because Al has been back at work attacking his old nemesis, Norm Finkelstein, who has just applied for tenure at DePaul University in the US where he is an assistant professor of politics. Norm’s department has supported him but Al has bombarded faculty members with a blistering attack on Norm and all his works.

So let me just explain what these works are. Finkelstein, who is Jewish and the son of Holocaust survivors, has published a number of works highly critical of Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian West Bank and the use Israeli supporters make of the Holocaust of six million Jews to suppress criticism of Israel’s policies. He has accused Dershowitz of plagiarising portions of his 2003 book The Case for Israel. Finkelstein’s book, The Holocaust Industry, earned Dershowitz’s continued fury.

Now, I’ve known Norm for years and he is a tough, no-holds-barred polemicist, angry against all the traditional supporters of Israel, especially those who turn a blind eye to torture. Personally, I find Norm’s arguments sometimes a little overwrought. In radio discussions, his voice will take on a slightly whingeing tone that must infuriate his antagonists.

But Al is clearly trying to destroy Norm’s career, adding that the “dossier” he sent to DePaul academics - we remember that word “dossier” rather too well in Britain and, I should add, Al has absolutely no connection to DePaul University - contains details of “Norman Finkelstein’s … outright lies, misquotations and distortion”.

It will be a disgrace, says Al, for DePaul to give tenure to Norm. “His scholarship is no more than ad hominem attacks on his ideological enemies.” As if this is not enough, Al - who is also Jewish - takes a crack at philosopher and linguistic academic Noam Chomsky who has supported Norm and whom Al refers to as “the high priest of the radical anti-Israeli left”.

Enough, I hear readers shout. I agree. But Norm’s politics department give him top marks for scholarship and says he “offers a detailed argument that suggests that Dershowitz plagiarised or inappropriately appropriated large sections of others work in The Case for Israel”. Norm has a “substantial and serious record of scholarly production and achievement” and has lectured at the University of Chicago, Harvard, Georgetown and Northwestern Universities.

So far so good. But now up pops “Chuck” Suchar, the dean of DePaul’s College of Liberal (sic) Arts and Sciences, with an extraordinary recommendation that Norm should not be granted tenure. While acknowledging that “he is a skilled teacher” with “consistently high course evaluations,” Chuck has decided “that a considerable amount of [his work] is inconsistent with DePaul’s Vincentian values, most particularly our institutional commitment to respect the dignity of the individual and to respect the rights of others to hold an express different intellectual positions”. Norm’s books, according to Chuck, “border on character assassination and … embody a strategy clearly aimed at destroying the reputation of many who oppose his views”.

Now I have to say that scholars who read this column will be interested to know of Chuck’s own work. I gather it has absolutely nothing to do with the Middle East, though I’m sure his study of Gentrification and Urban Change: Research in Urban Society (1992) had American readers queuing round the block of their major bookstores in search of first editions. All I do ask is how a college dean could involve himself in the same kind of ad hominem attacks against one of his own colleagues that he has accused that same colleague of being guilty of.

I loved too, that bit about “Vincentian values”. That really does warrant a chortle or two. St Vincent de Paul - the real de Paul who lived from 1581 to 1660, not the de Paul of Chuck’s soft imagination - was a no nonsense theologian who was captured by Muslim Turkish pirates and taken to Tunis as a slave. Here, however, he argued his religious values so well that he converted his owner to Christianity and earned his freedom. His charitable organisations - he also created a home for foundlings in Paris - became a legend which Chuck Suchar simply dishonours.

All over the United States, however, Norm’s academic chums have been condemning Suchar’s tomfoolery; even in Beirut, where Norm has lectured, academics of the American University have insisted that he be granted tenure in his department, Arabs supporting a Jewish professor and son of Holocaust survivors.

Of course, I grant that all this is a little heavy for the real world and I do have a secret desire to take Norm, Chuck and Al and bang their bloody heads together. But what is happening at DePaul University is a very serious matter in the anodyne, frightened academic world that now exists in the US. Norm’s moment of truth comes up in May. As they say watch this space

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

S Koreans need a Hugo Chavez

October 07 2009
Arriving at Seoul from Toronto Canada on my way to Hanoi, Vietnam, my first thought about South Korea was "I do not find any Korea at all" in Seoul.

People do not look like a Korean, the signs, slogans, placards in the streets are mostly anglicized, and the TV screeens are inundated with dramas, talk shows, and games that immitated or copied of sleazy, decadent, and cheap substances in US production.

Politicians ranging from President to Parliamentarians are a bunch of lackeys who play a role of the serf to the US empire, not to preserve and protect the integrity of the nation but to sell the "Han Wave", a hodgepodge of syncretic culture, as the symbol of prosperity.

Economically,South Korea is flooded with a giant housing bubble...when the export business collapses, everything goes down the tube.
The unemployment rate for the youth goes over 50 percent, but the KOSPI (Korean Stock Market Index) hit high point as if Dow Jones Average does not reflect the economic reality in the US.

South Korea needs a revolution to come up from the present decadence...they need someone like Hugo Chavez, President of Venezuela who walk and talk tall against the US foreign policies and economic exploitation globally.
Unfortunately, there is no one but a cabal of oafs and Don Quixotes.

I am heading for Vietnam to find whether the country is gradually becoming a little China or a little South Korea.,,
For two weeks, I will travel across the country from the north to south.
I will be back home early November,

Have a great days

The GIGO in Full Swing in America

The American GIGO Syndrome in Full Swing
October 15 2009

Author’s note: although acronym GIGO was originally coined for information technology sector as Garbage In Garbage Out, meaning that the integrity of output is dependent on the integrity of input, it refers here as one accepts an erroneous or wrongful information, one gets false conclusion as the true and rightful option.
In plain terms, you discharge a pile of shits when you eat shit, or you think, talk, behave, and argue like a shit when you learn shitty stuffs.

Let’s start by saying that I have never been a rah-rah fan of the United States of America, even after Americans have elected a black President, Barak Hussein Obama.
Contrarily, World, especially the Third World, danced with abandon anticipating new era of peace, freedom, and prosperity in concert with the Obama’s “Change” slogan .
However, I, from the beginning, refused to join the “ditto-head” groups chanting “Change” and gradually realized that I was right not to endorse him blindly.

There are two major issues, among other things, that haunt and bedevil the GIGO mind of American public...the Healthcare Reform and the War in Afghanistan.

Let’s begin with the Healthcare issue.

First of all, I, as a Canadian, am baffled, dismayed, and shell-shocked over the American stupidity regarding their healthcare reform debate, as much as being perverse as the American gun laws.
Canadians admit that they would catch cold when Americans sneeze...but every Canadian knows that there are two huge differences between two nations in the Healthcare and Gun regulations.

We, Canadians, value so much about our single-payer government healthcare system that any political party, the Liberal, Conservative, or NDP (Socialist), would never dare to fiddle with it unless they would like to commit suicide, as if George W Bush attempted and eventually turned his tail to fiddle with the Social Security System.

Americans, boorishly and ignorantly, call the Canadian Healthcare system as the communistic socialized system and dubbed their first black President a Hitler (a despot), without knowing that they already have one, Medicare system for the elderly and disabled Americans is almost similar to the Canadian system.

The “public option” for the Health Insurance that Obama had initially suggested to the Americans was not so much similar to the Canadian system but simply an option for uninsured Americans to benefit the low-cost health insurance when the poor Americans can’t afford to buy the private insurance due to the exorbitant cost of the premium. .
In other words, the public option is a stop-gap solution for sickly and traumatic healthcare system that has been devastated the American society where thousands of uninsured Americans queue in the parking lots across the nation for free medical treatments.

The worst part in the American Healthcare debates is that the single-payer system was excluded totally from the every discussion meeting including the town hall debate with the President...that is, the single-payer advocates were deliberately excluded from any discussion panel or congressional debates, while many Healthcare insurance CEOes have an access to the White House meetings with the President who promised the drug industry that he would not allow the new healthcare legislation to have a bargaining power in cutting the drug price.

Most of the Western Developed Countries have enjoyed adopting the fully covered healthcare program for decades and the United States is peculiarly exceptional in refusing the universal healthcare coverage.
And Americans strangely and oddly favor to shudder dying with no doctors around in the street or going bankrupt due to the exorbitant medical costs.

Reality checks
Here is an inconvenient truth that Americans cannot dispute:

1. 47 million Americans do not have health insurance, 10 million more than whole Canadian population that every man, woman, old, young, rich, poor, beggar, homeless, are totally and unconditionally covered by the single-payer healthcare system. In addition, 25 million Americans are under-insured suffering from the unfavorable coverage such as co-payment, deductibles, and extra medical expenses.
2. Americans spend 17 percent of their GDP while Canadians use 10 percent a proportion for their healthcare, and tens of thousands of Americans go bankrupt due to the piling sky-high medical bills.
3. American doctors and hospitals are burdened with the administrative costs in dealing with various billings, and the health insurance industries and big drug companies lobby the Congress with big bucks adding enormous burden to the payments of ever-increasing premium for the consumers. For Canadian doctors and hospitals, there are no cashiers departments.
4. The Canadian system was pilloried by the US media as a Death Panel...patients wait for years to see a specialist or to have a cutting-edge procedure, while ignoring the reality that American hospitals dump the uninsured or homeless patients in the streets to die and insurance companies often refuse to cover in a timely manner the insured patients for surgery or hospitalization.
5. Hundreds of poor Americans flock to cross Canadian border to buy cheap prescription drugs because Canadian Government buy the drugs in bulk and negotiate the drug price with the pharmaceutical company.

Americans often watch the distorted, misleading, and derisive propaganda on TV paid by the Health Insurance companies about the horror stories the Canadian patients suffering from the single-payer system.
On the contrary, I had personally encountered a life-threatening situation many years ago and was immediately admitted, received a surgical implant, and discharged from the hospital without paying a penny and in timely manner.
The nurse even treated me with a dish of delicious cake before I departed for home, and I have been asked visiting the hospital every six month for checkups with no direct cash payments.

Americans mostly think that Canadians pay nothing for their healthcare system is not true...that is, Canadians pay the healthcare premium not like the insured Americans pay their premium.
We pay the premium once a year when we file the income tax return...our premiums are determined by the factor how much money a person makes a year...you pay more premium when you make more money and you pay less when you earn less.
But the premium we, Canadians, pay is not enough to cover the whole cost of the medical treatments...and the taxpayers money kicks in to cover the balance not like Americans use their tax dollars for the imperial wars to harass or kill other unfortunate fellas around the world.
Canadians spend their tax dollars for the Common Good while Americans waste it for Common Destruction.

For example, in Canada you, a homeless man, are entitled to receive a heart transplant operation with no premium payment, while a millionaire gets the same treatment with a proportional premium deduction from one’s annual income.
In America, a heart-sick millionaire with a best money-can-buy health insurance is being taken care of his sickness in the pent-house patient ward by a well-known celebrity heart surgeon, a cabal of cardiologists, highly qualified ICU nurses, and being fed daily with the high volume of vitamin-rich diet.
Then, what about a homeless man in America?
He is as dead as a door knob and Americans call it a Democracy!

In this perspective, the Canadian Healthcare System is a communistic and socialized one that the indigent American Joe-Six-Packs—I believe—love to have, if their newly elected Negro President and the corporate media tell them the truth. (Obama blushes and laughs showing his white teeth when he tells the truth.)
As of today, the public option, let alone the single-payer system, is a goner as Obama tiptoed away from it despite his promise that he would establish a new public insurance program alongside the private healthcare plan during his presidential campaign.

Afghanistan: The War of Necessity?

In his address to the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Obama called the Afghanistan conflict as “the war of necessity” that Americans should engage in fighting against the international terrorism in Afghanistan where Osama bin Laden calls it home, as if the crooked former President Nixon in 1970s claimed that the Southeast Asia goes red in domino effect, if Vietnam falls into the Communist hand.

In his interview with NY Times, he rejected to compare the Afghanistan conflict with the Vietnam War and he does not worry about his possible fate of repeating President Lyndon Johnson who did not seek re-election in 1968: “You have to learn lessons from history. On the other hand, each historical moment is different. You never step into the same river twice. And so Afghanistan is not Vietnam.”
And he added: the job of dismantling terrorism networks in Afghanistan can be handled by remote controlled drones and other alternatives to soldiers on the ground, so that the US do not need to sacrifice too many young men and women as in the Vietnam War.

Obama doesn’t seem to read the history correctly...his assertion itself is another expression of deranged strategy that Americans took the high kill-ratio of enemy determines the war...the more you kill the enemy with less casualty of your troops, the more you have a chance to win the war.
In the Vietnam War, Americans killed over two millions people and they still lost the war, because they were not able to buy “hearts and minds” of the occupied, as in Afghanistan, people are simply fighting tooth and nail “kicking out a hodge-podge of FOREIGNER INVADERS”, Americans, British, German, France, Denmark, Italy, Spain, Estonia, Georgia, Colombia, South Korea, etc.

It is hardly surprising that many pundits, military or political, would likely to see the Afghanistan Conflict parallel to the Vietnam War in 1970s.
In the first place, they argue that “we shouldn’t have been there”, as the Pulitzer-Prize Winning Author Stanley Karnow mentioned about the US involvement in the Vietnam War.
However, the Americans are bombarded daily with the fraudulent propaganda by the government and the mainstream media as in the same manner as during the Vietnam War that the United States is committed to bring a Democracy to the Afghanistan.

Not many Americans know the hidden reality that the US is fighting in Afghanistan to acquire and control a right of passage in Caspian oil pipeline from the Eurasia to the Indian Ocean, because it is verboten or at least self-censored for the US news media volunteering to let American people know that the Obama regime is not much different from the GW Bush regime in fighting the imperial war.
For decades, it has been well-known to the US foreign policy advisers that the Central Asia is rich in untapped oil and natural gas reserves and worth to intervene in the regional conflicts after the Soviet empire collapsed.
The 9/11 attacks provided the US the golden opportunity for getting into the region under the guise of fighting the international terrorism

From Iraq to Afghanistan, Germany, South Korea, Diego Garcia, Bosnia, The Philippines, and Japan, the United States Government issued the garden-variety of rationale to keep hundreds of the military bases around the world and to engage in the imperial aggressions...to eliminate the weapons of mass destruction, the campaign against the international terrorism, fight the war there to prevent war here, help to protect allies from the axis of evil enemies, bring a Democracy to the despotic Islamic nations, etc.

But all are nothing more than the hegemonic imperial wars that keep the whole world under the eagle-eye watch of the US imperial endeavors for centuries since late 18 century.
And the US presence in Afghanistan is not only significant to secure the strategic geopolitical location that connects the land-locked oil-rich Central Asia to the energy-hungry world, but also plays a role of the watch-tower to keep an eye on the strategic operation of the Sino-Russian cooperation.

As Sun Tzu said in his The Art of War that all war is based on deception, there is nothing new in a government lying to their people to start a war, because most people prefer living in peace to bloody and horrific death in war, any government that desires to initiate a war usually lies to their people to create the illusion that support for the war is the only possible choice they can make.

The GIGO thrives in American minds.

Garbage In, Garbage Out --- It is used primarily to call attention to the fact that computers, unlike humans, will unquestioningly process the most nonsensical of input data and produce nonsensical output.
However, the GIGO syndrome is perfectly functioning in human minds nonsensically too as with same accuracy and frequency as a computer, especially if the human mind is exposed, infected, and corrupted by the culture where the mind resides.

In the United States, the Afghanistan war is portrayed by the mainstream media and the government official circle as a gallant crusade against the international terrorism.
It also portrayed the single-payer non-profit Healthcare system as a communistic, socialized, free-booted bonanza for poor minorities and immigrants who mass-produce a litter of babies.

And as the TV commercials and newspaper editorials are inundated with this misleading information, the GIGO smoothly kicks in American minds manufacturing the nonsensical arguments as the better choices.

But the true reality is:

1. The US maintains the dozens of permanent military bases in Iraq modeled in the SOFA (State of Forces Agreement) in South Korea and Japan. As the US Military Forces have been stationing both Asian countries since WWII with no end in sight, it is a pipe dream for Americans anticipating the troop withdrawal from the strategic oil-producing Iraq.
2. Afghanistan becomes the major battle front in preparation to jumpstart the next conflict with Iran that is eager to join the nuclear power group. The nuclear-armed Israel, the satrap in the region, is not about to let Iran armed with the A-Bombs and Iran is only remaining oil-rich country in the region that defies the hegemonic US imperialism.
3. American people would get some sort of compromising Healthcare reform in the form of the Co-op that does not impinge on the profit of private health insurance company, because it is imperative for Obama to have a look-a-like if he wishes to run for second-term Presidency.
4. Historically, Americans have been easily duped, cajoled, persuaded, and influenced by the mainstream media and Government propaganda, as Ralph Nader said that the screen is the opium of the people.

The GIGO is the name of the game that prevails in the American society where people do not know they are in the game and that is a crux of the game.
Pity them!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

DJ Kim: A Maestro of Comprador, Sellout, and Turncoat

A Feel-Good Summit Talk
June 15, 2000

1. Banzai mentality

Koreans are characterized generally with the tendency to display an unfettered and emotive feeling in public when they are either extremely sorrowful or pleased with the events, such as in the funeral process they openly cry loudly and shed tons of tears or in greeting their political leaders they shriek banzai with abandon.
When DJ Kim returned from the North-South meeting, there have been an explosion of rapturous emotion and delusory euphoria among the South Koreans that only appear in the society where nincompoops, hypocrites, and sellouts have an upper hand and coolheaded, logic-minded, and sagacious people slump in an awkward atmosphere.

A TV anchorman has put on a smiley face and ducktalks DJ’s bromide: we, Koreans, can settle our dispute on the issues of the reunification without any interference from anyone, a grandiose delusion of self-indulgence.
DJ has assured his people that the threat of the war on the peninsula has disappeared since his visit to the North, the same braggadocio when he told a lie the South has graduated from IMF bailout a few months ago. It was an amazing and blatant chicanery that one stroke of signature could eliminate the menace to peace that every souls of live and dead Koreans desperately have sought after for 50 years and he did it with a single visit to the North!
Oh, please give me a break!

There couldn’t have been such an apropos occasion for DJ Kim, who was dumped by his people at the recent parliamentary election and humiliated with an unsavory pursuit for his erstwhile bedfellow JP Kim in order to obtain the majority in the national assembly.
He appears to shed an image of the treacherous and Machiavellian political hack as if a duck sheds water off its back.
However, it is a matte of time when the people become sober, cool headed, and realize that the so-called formulas he proposed to the North are not the officially sanctioned one but his own personal opinion that was formulated during his untoward political life in the early 90s.
His people and the national assembly have never mandated him to proceed with his personal formulas that smell stink in a way to cut corner in achieving his personal popularity.

2. Reality Check

In reality, the North-South Talk is a non sequitur and the proposed three-phased formula for the reunification has a close similarity with an inverted form of Pyramid scheme that would give birth to a multi-headed chimera.

In the first place, DJ’s proposal for the unification process that promotes a confederation of two independent states was to avoid the thorniest issues of US presence in the South and the nuclear armament in the North, stipulating that the each state has the intrinsic rights with regard to the foreign affairs and military capabilities. These issues are sine qua non of many other agendas that have to be dealt with the South Koreans who have not been told of what the official formula would be.
DJ should call for the referendum, seek for the approval from the parliament, or at least put his personal formula on the public forums to debate prior to his departure to the North.

Secondly, DJ Kim should be charged with the violations of the National Security Acts (NSA) and other 20-some statutes that punish anyone to praise or promote the ideology of the North. Since his inauguration, DJ has arrested over 700 people for breaking the NSA and many of them are still in jail for the same offense that DJ himself is ipso facto committing with impunity.
He seems to become more cunning, arrogant, and tyrannical dictator than any other oppressive general-turned-presidents in disregarding the violation of the constitution and other statutory laws.
His attempt to revise the NSA has been stalled in the parliament since last year and his people have refused to give him the absolute majority mandate in recent election. And he still has the gall and arrogance to pledge some pies in the sky to his first-met blood brother in the North.

Thirdly, one of the investment firms in the United States has calculated that the North requires to have over $1 trillion to revitalize its economic infrastructures that have been devastated and moribund for last few years, and the South does neither have the financial capacities nor willingness to help out their pariah brothers.
The South has its own financial problems, and one of pivotal industrial giant Hyundai has been limping around due to the lack of cash flows that was partially caused by annual infusion of over $1 billion into the North.
On the other hand, the North is not ready to accommodate the massive inroads of the investment capitals, materiel, and greedy carpetbaggers.

Finally, the issue of the unification has always been internationalized and placed on the cutting boards of the Super powers since 1945, and China and Uncle Sam have been breathing heavily on the necks of the North and the South that Koreans just dine, wine, and shoot the shits.
That’s why there has been a train of meetings before the summit between the North Korea and China, and the South Korea and the United State.
Since Koreans have been sitting by the peg leashed around their necks for centuries, it is the natural corollary that they have no sensation of restraining tug until they stray from the pegs of China, Russia, Japan and the United States.
Only a fool believes that Koreans are capable of minding their shop while Chinese and Uncle Sam suck their fingers.

3. The talk between China and the North Korea before the summit:
tutor (Jiang Zemin) vs. urchin (Kim JI)

Tutor: Long time no see, son. I gather that you have not forgotten that we saved you during the Korean War.
Urchin: No sir. How could we forget you? I am here to ask some helpful directives in dealing with the South and the imperialist Uncle Sam.
DJ Kim has been pestering me constantly for tete-a-tete, sending tons of fertilizers, US dollars, and tourists. I know he desperately wants a Nobel Prize, but he won’t get it without me.
Tutor: Son, watch out that bastard. He is a sellout who can somersault and pirouette in tune with any music if it gives him an upperhand.
Urchin: Should I up the ante for another talk with him, such as another one billion dollars for the exchange of the special envoy, reunion between the lost families etc?
Tutor: Of course, you should note that you wouldn’t expect too much from Uncle Sam when the new guy, Governor Death, comes into the White House next year armed with TMD and NMD systems. You should milk DJ Kim as much as possible until he drops dead.
Urchin: Should I barter nuclear bombs with foods?
Tutor: What a naïve son! Do you think DJ and Uncle Sam fetch a bucket of food because they commiserate you so much? You are a dead man if you did not have the tool of Mutually Assured Destruction.
But don’t be too stupid to pour the cold water on the eager guest. In a Confucian culture, the manners matter. Give him a bear hug. Show the world you are not a moody and irascible playboy tyrant as the Western media has been brainwashing the people, but a smiling, affable, happy-go-lucky and talkative leader. You don’t have the complexion of a horrible terrorist like a kaffiyehed Arab but rather an amiable dunce like Ronald Reagan. I know you have a knack to make your counterpart loose in the chess game.
Urchin: Sir, can I rely on your help when Uncle Sam ever launches the preemptive nuclear strike against us?
Tutor: My poor son, don’t succumb to the Yankee bluffs. They have too many problems in their backyard to engage in an all-out attack. Be sure to continue working on the ICBM and nuclear capability. The Samson Option on Americans in the peninsula and Japan can be an effective deterrent against the US attack.
Urchin: Thank you for your advice. I will call you back soon.
Tutor: Wait a minute. I’ve heard that the Russian bear wants to see you in July. What does he have to do with you?
Urchin: Don’t worry my dear teacher. The Russians are broke and I don’t trust them because they are already in Uncle Sam’s back pocket. They don’t want to be left out in the power game of the Far East. I need as many supporters as possible to show our enemy that we are not as hapless as pariah.
Tutor: Good luck, son. We, Chinese, would thank you very much, if you’d be able to make a deal with the South that deprives the American military of a pretext for its forward bases in the South right on our doorstep.

4. The talk between the United States and the South Korea before the summit talk:
Master (Bill Clinton) vs. servant (DJ Kim)

Master: Nice to see you again, boy. I’ve seen you on television frequently these days and you must have been a good poster boy for globalization.
Servant: Dear master, thank you very much for your benevolence that allows me to play ball with the North.
Master: Boy, you know who the boss is and it’s good for you not to forget it. But I want you to tell your counterpart that we mean business when we talk about the north’s nuclear and missile stuffs. On the other hand, you should not give any hint or suggestion about the presence of US forces in the South. Simply ignore him and tell him that it is none of their business.
Servant: But my revered master, I can’t raise the missile and nuclear issues without responding for their inquiry about your presence in the peninsula. It is a well-known fact that both issues remain to be settled as symbiotic as body and soul in order to achieve the reunification of the country.
Master: Don’t play dumb, boy. I know you have a lot of sleazy and cunning ways to escape the embarrassing occasions like telling your people full of white lies about your horse tradings and financial difficulties. I know you have made treachery and duplicity your bywords.
Servant: Please be generous and pity with me, my master. I will serve you obediently and loyally, forever. Look at what I have done for you. I have placed whole land, banks, factories, and even my people on the shelf of the international flea market for fire sale as you have instructed me. I have even eaten the humiliating crow when I told my people that you could keep occupying my country even after the unification. Who would believe that Koreas could be united with the American occupation remain intact? Only stupid and dumb people like the South Koreans buy it.
Master: Bottom line is that the hegemonic foreign policies of the United States have never predicated on the logical, moral, humanistic, altruistic and democratic principles since its birth.
Do you think that we have lost over 30,000 young American lives in the Korean War and have kept over 37,000 GIs in order solely for the democracy? What do you take me for, a fool?
Wake up boys! The hegemonic control in the region is sole and ultimate raison detre for the US occupation forces in the Korean peninsula. I find that you South Koreans have been going too far…like SOFA revision, abolition of the bombing range, and Nogun-ri massacre.
How do you servant demand a right to prosecute your master under your own barbaric and unreliable judicial system? (Shh…. frankly speaking, I don’t trust our system neither. I shuddered when one of the governors released 13 convicts among 56 inmates waiting to be executed because they were wrongfully sentenced to die. Imagine what if you, as innocent as a god, were one of other inmates who still sits in the deathrow waiting to be executed. But most of my people are untoward to believe the principle of justice for all as your people do.)
Servant: master, your wishes are my command, and I will do whatever you ask me to do. But please give us mercy of Lord. Thank you for your advice. Thank you, thank you, and thank you…

5. The North and the South Summit:
Comprador (DJ Kim) vs. Hermit (Kim JI)

DJ Kim, a superb Machiavellian comprador, duck-walks in with rictus smile of a bowing undertaker and shakes hand with JI Kim, a recently spelunked-out hermit, and they waltz together for the inspection of the People’s Army at the airport where the national flags of the North flutter in the breeze with no sign of the South’s flag.
The mise-en-scene are carefully choreographed and staged with pomposity and dignity in order to show the world that they are two heads of each fully sovereign countries and are serious in dealing with their own fate by themselves without any interference form the super powers.

. During his three-day stay, DJ has been strangely reticent and short-versed in responding with his gregarious counterpart who has been bad-mouthed as an eccentric recluse by the Western media. It seems that DJ walked on the eggshells as a loyal comprador for Uncle Sam, and also become dumfounded when he realizes that his counterpart is not that stupid to be duped as his opponents in the South.
However, he did not hesitate to expose his treacherous and cunning characters when a high-ranking official of the North has challenged him about the intent and purpose of three alliances (US, Japan and South Korea) talk.
DJ replied that the alliances are to benefit both the South and the North as a sort of win-win policy and it is not aimed at harming the North.
What a Bull Shit! He has been a pathological liar to cheat his people, and now in the historical meeting of the Koreans he did not feel sorry to tell the Northern brothers a white lie.
Surprisingly, the alleged hermit has danced jubilantly as an artificially propped-up debutante on the international spotlight and showed the sharp awareness with full strength of testosterone and courtesy, quite contrary to what DJ was briefed as a rude and tyrannical curmudgeon by his NIS men and the CIA agents of his Uncle Sam.

During a limousine ride to the guesthouse, it is anybody’s guess what they talk and exchange something under the table.
Comprador: Thank you for car-pooling with me. You are an ultimate gentleman.
Hermit: Never mind, but I’d like to make sure that your car is not bugged.
Comprador; Frankly speaking, I myself can not be 100 percent sure even though my people fumigated thoroughly the entire car to find the bugs.
Hermit: I know Yankees are poor in Humint (intelligence gathered by katsa (agents) in the field), but pretty good for Comint (Acronym for communications intelligence). My people already employed for ECM (electronic countermeasure).

Day One

Comprador: Comrade, it is my honor to meet you, and I come along a long way to meet my blood brother.
Hermit: Well, happy to see you with so much freebies and a sack of greenbacks. Thanks for help upgrading me from terrorist, womanizer, drunkard, recluse, psycho, and dictator to instant CNN celebrity.
Comprador: Oh, well, don’t thank me. Just thank my revered master, Mr. Clinton.
Hermit: Wait a minute, are you here to market a philandering capitalist who fucked 20-something wench?
Comprador: Oh no, no, no…I am just pulling your leg. You know, I am the people’s president of the Republic of Korea, very independent and totally unfettered representative of the South Koreans.
Hermit: Really? Then how come you have lost popularity in last April election and how dare your uncle dictates what we can or we can’t talk here?
Comprador: Shhhh. I might be wired for taping by CIA, I don’t know if my entourage was tampered with a katsa from the National Security Agency. You never know what my master would do to check my integrity.
Hermit: I will break their neck if I catch them.
Comprador: By the way, my Big Daddy wants me to ask you about your intention that you would put off your nuclear projects indefinitely and stop selling your missile technology to other rogue states like Iran, Iraq, and Syria.
Hermit: Here goes again, you never stop being a factotum of the imperialist Yankee. Your Big Daddy was not faithful to implement the provisions of the Agreed Framework I had signed with, and I am ready to go along with the agreement if Americans fulfill their promises.
By the way, I believe it is my turn to ask you: what about the 37,000 Yankee soldiers in the South? You said it’s okay to stay in the peninsula permanently…how thick face you have to come to see me to talk about the unification without recanting this two-bit and oxymoronic double-talk?
Comprador: I’m sorry I can’t respond with your inquiry…I have to consult with my master before I can give some suggestion because I was not allowed to talk about it, otherwise my master would raise Cain over me.
Instead, let us deal with the family reunion issue. I think that we can at least settle this matter once and for all.
Hermit: I am with you on this matter if you are ready to release my people in your prison and repatriate them to the North. They have been incarcerated over 30 years for the violation of the National Security Acts that only are comparable in its cruelty and heinous penalty with the Israeli administrative detention act, and they were denied of liberty only because they refuse to sign the release form that infringes the basic rights of freedom of thought. You have released and pardoned many treacherous generals who committed the atrocious massacre of your own people for the sake of your own political convenience, and now you can’t ask me the humanitarian reunion of separate families while ignoring the plea from the North. These people have already served longest jail term and deserve to be reunited with their family in the North.
Comprador: I am sorry I can’t give you an answer about this matter. I am afraid of being accused as a red sympathizer. Let us talk about the economic cooperation. Would you guarantee the repatriation of the profit from the North if South Korean businessmen invest in the North?
Hermit: I’ve heard that the South Korean businessmen are characterized as greedy and money-grubbing carpetbaggers…wherever they go, they leave a pile of refuse, a devastation of environment, and exploitation of human workers including children and women. Innocent Koreans have got beaten up during overseas trips by the disgruntled foreign workers who were maltreated in the South. I am afraid that you Southerners gobble up everything in the North like a school of piranhas and leave a pile of junks in order to make profits. We are at a crossroads which way to go…to keep the country under the present communal system that fails to feed my people or to allow your market economy that brings eventual demise of the North.
Comprador: are there any agenda that we missed to talk about it?
Hermit: Yea, how about cold noodle soup? Have you enjoyed it?
Comprador: Have we agreed any item up to now? I can’t go home without any gift for my people. Would you give me anything, anything that we can tell the people that we have achieved something in addition to the agreement for the taste of cold noodle?
Hermit: You have come here with full bag of shits and you ask for something. How could I have a talk with someone who can’t commit himself for anything. I don’t need to see my tutor for his approval every and each time as you have to with your master. The only thing I can suggest you is I might see you again in the future, if you promise me more freebies and a sack of greenbacks.
And for the reunion of separated families, you release my people in your jail first and send some more fertilizers and let Hyundai have more investment here, then I am with you to have “a party of tears and cries” for CNN consumption. Have a good sleep and come to see me again tomorrow.

Day two

During the sleepless night, DJ Kim instructed his communication officer to establish a secured line with the South and made a coded call to his master for the instruction, and has received the go-ahead signal for his formulas that has been under the scrutiny of the National Security Agency of the United States.

Hermit: How was the bed? Is it too soft for you and your wife?
Comprador: No, no, no…I have had a good sleep last night.
Hermit: You must have received a positive answer from your master, I guess.
Comprador: Here is the synopsis of my proposals.
First, I’ll repatriate your people in jail and abolish the NSA when I go home and we let the separated families have reunion party on August.
Second, I’ll send Hyundai boss with a bag of cash and aid plan right away and announce that the South would build the cross-country railroad and allow the cultural exchange of the artists, musicians and writers immediately.
Third, we should make our unification formula as vague and nebulous as possible, so no one knows what it really means at all.
Hermit: You are a smart Alec really. I accept your offers and let us have a signing party.
Comprador: Thank you my brother comrade, you have saved my life. Thank you. Thank you.

Day Three

Comprador: The Pope told me he is interested in seeing you if you invite him.
Hermit: You must be kidding… A Satan holding hand with a God? Heh, heh, heh, good for the Photo-Ops. What the heck, let him know I allow him to have an audience with me. It’s really worthwhile to live longer to see a god coming to see me, an archenemy of religion.
Comprador; also I would like to invite you to the South in very near future. We should not let our people mired into the post-summit fatigue. I think it is very important that various forms of fool’s parades are vital to make people feel good about the prospect of our talk.
Hermit: I totally agree with you. But, are you sure you can guarantee my safety from the marauding band of the Delta Forces in the US Army who are happy to snatch and ship me out on Apache helicopters for the international tribunal?
Comprador: Oh, come on, I can give you my assurance.
Hermit: Let me put it this way. Tell your people I accepted your invitation in some appropriate time, if it fits your propaganda scheme.
Comprador; Thanks again. You are really a courteous, Confucian-loving yangban (a man of the upper caste who prides oneself in aloof position beyond the reaches of hoi polloi).

Finally, DJ Kim wants to exploit the summit event for his faltering popularity in the South and asked Hermit if he would be allowed to go home on a motorcade through the country road crossing the DMZ.
Hermit was gaped with disbelief that his guest tries to give him the coup de grace…a motorcade escorted by his palace guards for hour-long drive on CNN with Larry King? What the fuck this bastard takes me for? A sucker? Or a dumb imbecile? He was furious of his guest’s sinister and manipulative character, but his anger subsided when he was reminded of his Chinese mentor that manners matter in a Confucian society.
So Hermit gave Comprador a bear hug and said adios.