Amerika’s Fierce Appetite

Feeding Amerika's Fierce Appetite
Amerika’s Fierce Appetite

(https://raimd.wordpress.com)

The U.S.-based organization Feeding America claims that 1 in 8 Amerikans “suffer from hunger.” The First Worldist advocacy group warns, “You may know someone who is hungry and not even realize it.” By contrast, in the Third World, hunger is easy to spot: malnourished, boney bodies, and swollen bellies. In Amerika, it is understandably difficult to pick out the hungry amidst the crush of fleshy figures.

Hunger, like every other social indicator, is defined differently by First Worldists. An Amerikan “suffers” from hunger, according to the USDA, if they feel “hungry but did not eat” or “cut [the] size of meal or skipped meal.” In other words, one eighth of all Amerikans may have experienced a grumbly tummy in the last month or so — perhaps that sensation is gas produced by the many meals not skipped, or the Big Mac without fries. Such is the “science” of the First Worldist.

Amerika is “hungry” indeed. So hungry in fact that 66% of Amerikans are overwieght or obese. More than half the population has a medical condition due to “hunger.” However, it isn”t malnutrition, it’s increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, and stroke, conditions often associated with overeating. The vast majority of Amerikans prefer potato chips and television to any sort of physical activity. So is it any surprise that there is a conspicuous lack of Amerikan children with distended bellies and exposed ribcages? Hunger, according to First Worldists, is a psychological state: “I didn’t eat as much as I wanted today!” “I had to skip lunch once last week!” “I just ate but I’m still hungry!” Such is the song and dance for advocates of First Worlders. By contrast, hunger in the Third World is a matter of life and death.

The World Health Organization recommends a minimum intake of 2600 calories a day. Those in the Third World consume, on average, 2100 calories; First World peoples approximately 3700. Thus, by a more objective standard of measure, hunger is virtually non-existent in the First World. And, by contrast, most Third World people experience hunger as a way of life.

The distribution of hunger in the world is yet more confirmation that the principal contradiction is between the First and the Third World. Capitalism-imperialism is a world system that generates vast inequalities between countries. Under the current world system a few wealthy countries live comfortable lives at the expense of the vast majority in the poor countries. To end hunger for the vast majority of humanity in the Third World means turning the tables, including the dinner table, on the fat, lazy First World.

Smash the obese empire that feeds on the world’s hungry!

Sources.

http://www.feedingamerica.org/

http://www.ers.usda.gov/briefing/foodsecurity/labels.htm

http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/overwt.htm

http://www.webmd.com/cholesterol-management/obesity-health-risks

http://wilderdom.com/games/descriptions/WorldMeal.html

http://www.newint.org/issue225/facts.htm

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Obama: more troops, more imperialism, more of the same

barack-obama-greets-troop-001

Obama: more troops, more imperialism, more of the same

(raimd.wordpress.com)

The election of Barack Obama as president was promised as bringing a different direction to U.S. foreign policy.  But as recent news shows, Obama will continue U.S. imperialist policies, for one by increasing the number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan.  In the beginning of his term this year he kept on Bush family crony Robert M. Gates as Secretary of “Defense.”  Gates announced recently the Amerikan military will increase the number of overall troops in service for these new imperialist wars.  Contributing to this increase are the Amerikan people, looking for jobs in the faltering economy, taking on military positions.

On Monday July 20 “Defense” Secretary Gates announced a “temporary” increase of the size of the army up to 22,000 troops.  This increase is to meet the “persistent pace” of operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to Gates (1).

The increase is to occur over three years. In the end, the size of the army will increase to 569,000 active duty soldiers.  Previously, in 2007, Gates had given a goal of an expansion to 547,000 soldiers. This previous target was reached in May.

There are currently 130,000 Amerikan troops in Iraq, not including mercenaries and contractors. Also, by the end of 2009, there will be 68,000 troops in Afghanistan.  Obama’s promised removal of troops from Iraq has been carried out at a snail’s pace, at best. This removal is really a shift, or “phased redeployment,” of more troops from Iraq into Afghanistan. Obama is not pulling back Amerikan Empire, so much as shifting its focus.  In fact, only combat forces will be withdrawn from Iraq by August 2010, and other troops will be scheduled to remain at least until December 2011 (2).  Most withdrawals are not even scheduled until March 2010. In fact there have been no troop withdrawals since Obama came into office. In addition, Gates expressed concern that future U.S. operations in Iraq and Afghanistan would not have enough boots on the ground.  Military advisors and senators are advocating more troops be sent to Afghanistan than originally planned (3).

Some have pointed to some of Obama’s policies, like the defunding of the F-22 fighter program, as a sign of Obama’s dovish credentials. However, the defunding of this single program happened in the larger context of increasing the size of the military, including increasing funding for other fighter jets (4).

Obama, Another Side of the Coin

Despite what Amerikan pseudo-leftists say, to the world’s majority it does not matter who would have become U.S. president.  The United Snakes continues its tradition of militaristic policies.  All Obama changed was perception.  Amerikan public opinion tired of the war in Iraq not for any principled anti-imperialist reasons but because the war was becoming too costly; in Amerikan money, Amerikan lives, and to Amerika’s global image.  This last one was a key, for under Bush world opinion of the U.S. was lower than at any point in history. The jingoistic superpatriotism represented by McCain-Palin carried less appeal as the U.S. was being wound down in the resistance in Iraq.  Obama came along to shift world opinion of Amerika to a more positive view.  Amerikans also felt better in their relationship to the world under Obama, even though there has been no change to the foreign policies that enrich all Amerikans.  With a more positive world opinion, Amerikans are more willing now to embrace Amerikan imperialism, even joining its military to defend it.

Reasons For the Increase of Volunteer Troops

The New York Times also notes that the Pentagon, without the aid of conscription, will increase the size of its army by traditional means of recruiting and retention.  Since the advent of the all-volunteer armed forces over 30 years ago the military has relied on recruiting to fill its ranks.  Most have to be actively recruited.

The Iraq War made military service during a sustained military conflict unpopular.  The military could no longer count on those enlisting for easy college money or signing bonuses, obtained without leaving their bases and incurring risk (5).  Even the National Guard, with less commitment, suffered unmet recruiting goals (6). Recruiters talked about having “rolled doughnuts,” slang for going an entire month without recruiting anyone.

Also, antiwar activists, dealing with an all-volunteer army, took on the strategy of counter-recruitment to symbolically hurt the war effort. It met with mixed success in deterring some young people from the military (7), with many students removing their names from military recruiting lists that schools are required to give (8).  Military recruiters became more aggressive in their efforts.  But the recent recession has helped enlistment and re-enlistment.

In mentioning Gates’ proposed increase of troops this year, the New York Times also mentions that recruitment has been aided by those looking for a job in the recession, and troops reenlisting beyond their scheduled terms due to the job market.  Another source says military recruitment was up 9 percent from 2008, and potential soldiers are including not only those out of high school but those with bachelors and master degrees, looking for a steady paycheck without fears of layoffs (9).

Overall, the opposition to the Iraq War in the U.S. increased not because of any principled opposition to its military committing atrocities for profit, but because it was seen as too costly and unwinnable for Amerikans.  Even with the global recession Amerikans are still better off than the great majority of the world.  They still willingly join its military to further imperialist aggression in order to objectively keep their privileged position in the world.

The U.S. is the principal global empire. It must assert itself militarily around the globe.  To do this, it needs warm bodies for its never ending military adventures. Since 1900 the U.S. has continuously engaged in military confrontations of some kind or other nearly every year since. This will continue to be the case for the next hundred years, or until U.S. imperialism is defeated.

Domestic opposition will not stop aggression against the Third World. The liberal anti-war movement came to a halt with the end of the Bush administration. Most in the anti-war movement swallowed Obama’s lies. Progressives in the U.S. are deluding themselves if they still think the Obama administration will initiate major changes in U.S. foreign policy.

The masses of the Third World are also deluded, if they buy into Obama’s reinvention of Amerika. After all, recent polls show that Obama has improved the image of the U.S. in the Third World. The reality is that Obama and Bush are just two sides of the same imperialist coin. Given the promise of a paycheck Amerikans in their self-interest will help in the effort to expand the war machine. Amerikans have a material interest in maintaining imperialism. They are the ones who benefit, after all.  The masses of the world should not rely on opposition inside Amerika to stop imperialist wars.  If imperialism is to be smashed, then it will be the Third World masses who wield the hammer.  If First-Worlders support humanity they will side with the Third World masses in this endeavor.

Sources:

(1). Bumiller, Elizabeth.  “Gates Says U.S. Army’s Size Will Grow by 22,000.”  New York Times.  July 20, 2009.  http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/21/world/21military.html

(2). “With Pledges to Troops and Iraqis, Obama Details Pullout.”  New York Times.  February 27, 2009. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/28/washington/28troops.html

(3)  Bumiller, Elizabeth.  “With Boots in Iraq, Minds Drift to Afghanistan.”  New York Times.  July 31, 2009.  http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/01/world/middleeast/01memo.html

(4).  Drew, Christopher.  “Obama Wins Crucial Senate Vote on F-22.”  New York Times.  July 21, 2009.    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/22/business/22defense.html

(5). Davey, Monica.  “Recruiters Try New Tactics to Sell Wartime Army.”  New York Times.  June 14. 2004.  p. 1, 8.

(6). Moniz, Dave.  “For Guard Recruiter, a Tough Sell.”  USA Today.  www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2005-03-07-recruits-cover_x.htm.  Accessed 3/8/2005.

(7). Some examples of earlier counter-recruitment strategies are here:  Weill-Greenberg, Elizabeth.  “Calling All Soldiers:  Military Recruiters Face Resistance From Young Anti-War Activists.”  New York Amsterdam News.  February 24, 2005.  Accessed from www.commondreams.org 3/8/2005; and Hampson, Rick.  “‘Counter-recruiters’ Shadowing the Military.” USA Today.  www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2005-03-07-counter-recruiters_x.htm.  Accessed 3/8/2005.

(8). “Students Want Off Recruiting Lists.”  Toward Freedom.  November 16, 2005.  http://towardfreedom.com/home/content/view/667/78/ Accessed 11/21/2005.

(9). “Slumping Economy Helping With Military Recruitment.” http://www.wjactv.com/news/20277281/detail.html

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Filed under Afghanistan, Barack Obama, Imperialism, Iraq, News and Analysis

1,013 Afghan Civilians Killed in First Half of 2009

afghan-child-casualty

1,013 Afghan Civilians Killed in First Half of 2009

https://raimd.wordpress.com

A U.N. mission has reported that 1,013 civilians have been killed in combat in Afghanistan during the first half of the year, up 24% from the same period in 2008. Civilian deaths have not been restricted to Afghanistan. On January 23rd, less than three days after his inauguration, President Barack Obama ordered a drone attack into Pakistan which locals say killed three civilians.

Much of the world has been bamboozled by the Obama presidency. However, the people of Afghanistan and Pakistan are finding out that Obama is just another imperialist butcher. They likely won’t be the last as the Obama administration continues to redirect the “War on Terror.” The people of the Third World will not take such aggression lying down. This past July was the bloodiest month for occupation forces in Afghanistan since the start of the October 2001 invasion.

Sources:
http://www.azstarnet.com/sn/related/303214
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/us_and_americas/article5575883.ece

afghan-child-with-ak47

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Denver Anti-War Events

DAWN flyer

From the Denver Anti-War Network:

Open Community Discussion on the Anti-War Movement
Monday, August 31st: 6:30 pm
Mercury Cafe, 2199 California St.

“March for Real Change. Stop Obama’s Wars”
Wednesday, October 7th: 4pm
Federal Courthouse, 19th and Stout

Justice and Peace Jamboree
An evening of food, music and radical politics
Wednesday, October 7th: 7pm
Quixote’s, 2623 Welton St.

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Movie Review: G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra

GI_joe_2

Movie Review: G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra

https://raimd.wordpress.com

G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra is a Hollywood action movie packed with CGI-enhanced martial arts; explosions; sci-fi hi-tech weapons; chase scenes and topped off with near superhuman ‘good’ and ‘bad guys.’ Typical of Hollywood-type action movies, the plot centers around preventing the bad guys from attaining global dominance. G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, like another summer blockbuster, Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen, is one of many movies that promotes militarism and by extension imperialism.

The story opens with a weapons dealer, McCullen (later revealed as bad guy, Destro), showing off a new high-tech weapon, the Nanomite warhead. The weapon, loosely based on emerging technologies, is said to be able to destroy “any and all material in its path.” The first to procure this new weapon is the United States. The main protagonist, Duke, is charged with leading a NATO force to deliver four of the warheads. The audience is never challenged to ask why the U.S. wants or gets this weapon, let alone four of them, nor what would happen once it gets them. Instead the plot predictably begins when the warheads are stolen by the ‘bad guy’ Cobra force.

Unlike the G.I. Joe toys and cartoons, the new live-action G.I. Joe force is multinational, consisting of the “top men and women of the best  military units of the world.” Prior to the theft of the Nanomite warheads, it is unclear what purpose such an elite military force might serve. The two male protagonists who join the G.I. Joe force after the start of the movie, Duke and Ripchord, seem more interested in running around in suits which give them superhuman strength and speed than serving any humanitarian or even patriotic ends. At the beginning of the movie, Ripchord expresses interest in joining the U.S. Airforce simply so he can pilot military jets.

As the movie develops, the G.I. Joe force must stop the Cobra from destroying Washington D.C., Bejing and Moscow. The leader of the Cobra force is the Cobra Commander, a former friend of Duke’s who wants to use the Nanomite technology to attain global power. The Cobra Commander is aided by Destro the weapons dealer, a small army of mind-controlled fearless soldiers, and the Baroness, a former love interest of Duke’s who is also mind-controlled throughout most of the movie.

In the real world, where both high-tech weapons capable of small and vast destruction and various elite, multinational, sometimes private military units exist, bad guys like the Cobras don’t. In the real world, millions of people die from starvation and malnutrition, not violent conspiracies to usurp global power. The system responsible for these deaths, imperialism, also creates conditions whereby oppressors join the military for the ‘thrill’ of using destructive weapons, flying fast and blowing things up. However, these people are not heroes.

Today, in the real world, most state militaries and elite multinational  forces serve to maintain the imperialist system which starves millions. Taken out of the context of imperialism and global class systems, there is no need for elite military units. Action movies such as G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra and Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen create ridiculous fictional stories in which imperialist militaries are portrayed not as the protectors of global class structure, but as playing a positive role for humanity. ‘Ordinary,’ relatable characters such as Duke and Ripchord, who, in real life would play a mundane role in a profoundly awful system, are seen as both more significant and depoliticized: they’re “in the middle of the action” and supposedly saving the world. Amerikan and First World audiences, who are not routinely subjected to imperialist threats and aggression, might find themselves envious of such adventures and abilities. And whereas First World movie-goers, people who economically benefit from imperialist militarism, can’t join or cheer for the G.I. Joe force in real life, they conveniently can the U.S. military, NATO, Blackwater (now called Xe), the IDF and various other imperialist military organizations.

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New RAIM Video: Fuck The Kops

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Sacred, Indigenous Site Made Into Fill-Dirt for New Sam’s Club, Revolution Needed

Sams Club

https://raimd.wordpress.com

In Oxford, Alabama something awful is happening. A hill, on top of which lies a Native American rock mound, is being destroyed in order to procure fill-dirt for a new Sam’s Club a few miles away.

The rocks were arranged on the 200 foot (60 meter) rise over a millennium ago. The site was fundamental in Indigenous rituals and gatherings in the area. According to Oxford head racist, mayor Leon Smith, the site is the “ugliest old hill in the world.” “Just a pile of old rocks,” he added about the mound. City officials plan to in the future remove the top of the hill, including the rock mound, to create an elevated, eight acre (3.25 hec) commercial development site that will overlook the Choccolocco Valley and city of Oxford. Sam’s Club, a division of Walmart Stores Inc, which is carving into the hill right now, is a growing chain of wholesale megastores. Like Walmart, Sam’s Club markets itself as increasing the purchasing power of First World consumers through low prices.

Oxford, Alabama is one locality in an entirely stolen continent. Since 1492, all ‘development’ in Amerika has occurred hand in glove with the protracted genocide of Indigenous peoples. This genocide continues today. Those few Native Americans left which still have ties to the land are finding their historic claims increasing threatened by the federal and state governments and private interests. In the realm of ideas, Native identity and culture continue to be wiped out by Amerika. In Denver and elsewhere, the Sons of Italy and other racists conduct Kolumbus Day parades: celebrations of their 500 year conquest and occupation of the North American continent. Now in Oxford, Alabama, a clearly sacred site of an all but exterminated people is being destroyed with the intentions of creating more shopping opportunities at discount prices for Amerikans.

More significant is the connection between Amerika’s founding genocide and the system which fuels today’s consumerism: imperialism. It was in fact Amerika’s genocidal occupation of North America which provided a social, cultural and material launching pad for U.S. aggression abroad. It is no coincidence that during the 1890’s, after the ‘closing of the frontier,’ Amerika initiated a war with Spain and acquired through military occupations the colonies of Puerto Rico, the Philippines and Guam. Today this system is still in place and the U.S. virtually occupies the world. And it is precisely this history of aggression towards the Third World– and the resulting militarily imposed exploitation upon Third World peoples– which compels Sam’s Club and Walmart to bring ultra-low prices to ever more First World consumers, even at the cost of a clearly significant site for Native Americans.

While the outgoing scarification of the hill will likely continue, because of the extreme cultural chauvinism at a time when Amerika is attempting to re-invent itself as multi-cultural and pluralistic, the removal of the actual rock mound may be halted through effective campaigning at the reformist level. However, the real solution to this problem is nothing short of revolution. That is because the destruction of the site has a deeper cause than simple racism or cultural chauvinism. Consumer culture, rapid environment degradation, continued annihilation of Indigenous heritage, wars of aggression and systemic Third World poverty are all connected through capitalist-imperialism. Those who want to truly end Amerika’s continued genocide against Indigenous peoples and culture, as well as those who oppose consumerism, poverty and ecocide, should single out First World imperialism as the principal enemy in their related struggles. Those who truly want to create a new, better world must unite with and promote the struggle of the world’s exploited and oppressed majority against the capitalist-imperialist system.

Sources:
http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/nationworld/2009507533_apusindianmounddispute.html?syndication=rss
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/07/21/AR2009072100460.html

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Filed under First Nations, KKKolumbus Day, News and Analysis, Political Economy

40th anniversary of “Whitey” on the Moon.

On this day, 40 years ago, two Amerikan settlers landed on the moon. In typical settler fashion, they even placed an Amerikan flag on the surface of the moon.

We at RAIMD look to this moment with great hope. One day, we hope to send all Amerikan settlers to the moon. Those oppressors called their moowalk , “one giant leap for man-kind.” However, the real leap will come when humanity must no longer suffer the oppression bestowed on it by the United Snakes.

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Dear RAIM-Denver…Tell me more.

Mail_symbol
Earlier this month, we received this e-mail:

“I’m interested in learning more about the Revolutionary Anti-Imperialism Movement. I have read many RAIM articles online and think there is a lot of benefit to studying the anti-imperialist theories your group has put forward. I have worked in the student and leftist movement for several years now, and RAIM and similar groups have provided important insights to strategy and tactics as well as a broader perspective. A minority of people have expressed similar ideas to RAIM in many leftist parties of all stripes.  I’m not 100% sure what RAIM’s stance is on some issues as some articles give an anarchist feel, while the majority is more in line with the Maoism of MIM or Monkey Smashes Heaven. So I’d be interested in learning where RAIM stands ideaologicaly and towards existing party organizations. I’m currently active in [activism], and look forward to cooperating with RAIM on a theoretical level, and perhaps eventually on a political level.”

RAIM: Anarchists or Communists

The Revolutionary Anti-Imperialist Movement is neither anarchist nor communist. We are an anti-imperialist organization that seeks to unite and organize people around consistent anti-imperialist politics.

RAIM believes in the primacy of class in the development of revolutionary class struggle. Our position, which precludes questions of anarchism vs. communism, is that the First World is a reactionary, exploitative body acting against revolution and interests of the majority of humanity. As it turns out, some RAIMers are Maoist-Third Worldists. Others are anarchists. Still others are nationalists.

RAIM does not have a worked out position on our relationship with other groups or parties and does not currently maintain formal ties with other organizations. Instead, we support and stand in solidarity with all consistently anti-imperialist efforts. Regardless of pre-existing group affiliations, we encourage all individuals who shares a correct revolutionary anti-imperialist line to work under the RAIM banner.

RAIM’s Work

Beyond politics, RAIM is characterized by the fact that we do semi-public work.  We have an on-the-ground presence and produce materials that have a wide range of receptibility.  Whereas many of the ideas presenting by RAIM are increasingly gaining currency the around the world and amongst Third World movements, RAIM is unique in that it is making efforts to break the First-Worldist ‘revolutionary’ monopoly directly at its source within the First World. Sometimes this happens in a friendly way, such as our independent participation in various protests and demonstrations.  Other times this challenge to First Worldism comes off a more antagonistic, such as when we openly and directly attack various positions held by First Worldists.  While it is unlikely that Third World-oriented revolutionary tendencies will overshadow First Worldism within the First World itself, it has been proven that RAIM-like groups can interject themselves into nominally leftist politics while maintaining a clear contrast between ourselves and the remainder of First World self-styled revolutionaries.

Engaging and Contributing to Revolution

At present, we are seeking to expand the stark presence we’ve created in Denver into a national and international movement. The first step for this to happen is for people to do what you’re doing now: engage in a theoretical manner with the ideas presented by RAIM.  Do our ideas make sense; do they provide a realistic template for class struggle and revolution?  If you answered yes, then you’re the type of person we want to work with.

More specifically, an expanded RAIM can only come about through the sustained, determined efforts on the part of comrades such as yourself.  What will this look like exactly?  We’re not sure.  One thing’s for certain though: creating a larger network of RAIM-like groups will involve no small degree of dedication, independent initiative and even creativity on the part of people not already directly affiliated with RAIM.  For our part, we’ve already amassed a wealth of materials, such as the RAIM Global Digest, to help kick start such efforts.  While we at RAIM-Denver are currently making efforts to reach out and expand organizationally, in the end only a conscious effort on the part of individuals and small groups can make this prospect become a reality.

As always, thanks for the inquiry. We look forward to your and other comrades’ further engagements with and contributions to the Revolutionary Anti-Imperialist Movement.

See also:

Class Today and the Struggle for a New World
A general analysis of global class structure today and its relevance in revolutionary struggle.

Nick Brown Interview:

RAIM-Denver Comrade, Nick Brown, talks with Monkey Smashes Heaven about organization and anti-imperialist activism.

RAIM-D Global Digest

The newsletter of the Revolutionary Anti-Imperialist Movement. Great to print out in either single page or booklet format. This still developing RAIM project is a great way to study up on and get out the revolutionary anti-imperialist message and even contribute on in a more direct way through writing.

RAIM-Denver Archive Page

Find back issues the RAIM-D Global Digests, old and new pamphlets, graphics and videos here.

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MSH: Pigs deny Ward Churchill job and damages

ward_churchill_01
Pigs deny Ward Churchill job and damages

(monkeysmashesheaven.wordpress.com)

In a recent ruling Chief Denver District Judge Larry Naves ruled against Ward Churchill’s request to be reinstated to Colorado University and against financial damages. This ruling is a contrast to the jury verdict in April that concluded that Churchill was illegally removed from his position for his political beliefs. The ruling gives regents of the University a free hand to fire whomever they want for their political beliefs. Churchill’s attorney David Lane stated:

“It’s an extremely rare thing for a judge to throw out a jury verdict — that’s big, that doesn’t happen… Here it’s being done at the expense of the Constitution of the United States of America, and it’s really a tragedy. It sends the message to the public of, ‘Oh, jury verdicts. Who cares?’”

Churchill lost his job after attention was drawn to an essay that he had written following the 9/11 attacks. In his essay, Churchill called those who died in the twin towers “little Eichmanns.” Thus Churchill compared the technocrats who worked in the Trade Center maintaining the US empire with technocrats in Nazi Germany. Churchill’s point is hardly radical. Churchill’s point comes from the work of Hannah Arendt’s account of the trial of Adolph Eichmann. The Nazi bureaucrat Eichmann, according to Arendt, was a banal individual whose evil was not motivated by strong ideological beliefs, but rather by conformism and careerism. The evil of empire is made possible by a large strata of ordinary people who contribute to the evil of the system by staffing its bureaucracy. Like the verdicts at Nuremberg, Churchill’s point is that “I was just doing my job, just following orders” is not an acceptable defense for evil. Like the leaders of empire, the functionaries of empire are also responsible for its crimes. There is collective responsibility for the crimes of empire that go beyond the small circle of ideologists and figureheads who make policy.

The ruling is an unhappy ending to a long witch hunt. The ruling is a blow to academic freedom.

Source:

1. http://www.dailycamera.com/news/2009/jul/07/ward-churchill-job-university-colorado-boulder/

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RAIM Global Digest Issue 4

Get it here at the RAIM-Denver Archives.

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Filed under Environment, News and Analysis, Organizing, Political Economy

The Farce of July

happy fourth

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New Agitation Handbill: America Sucks!

Just in time for the Farce of July weekend:

America Sucks!

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Review of ‘The Old Future’s Gone: Progressive Strategy Amid Cascading Crisis,’ a talk by Robert Jensen

jensen

Review of ‘The Old Future’s Gone: Progressive Strategy Amid Cascading Crisis,’ a talk by Robert Jensen

https://raimd.wordpress.com

Last month, author and activist Robert Jensen spoke in Denver at an event sponsored by Argusfest entitled “The Old Future’s Gone: Progressive Strategy Amid Cascading Crisis.”  It was based on a writing that has circulated among left-liberal websites.  A professor of journalism at the University of Texas in Austin, he also has written many books and articles on topics such as imperialism, capitalism, white privilege and patriarchy.  He doesn’t quite go to our line, but he at least asks the right questions and approaches the right topics. Because of this, a few members of RAIM went to check out the event.

At best his talk could be summed up as eclectic with a sub-reformist emphasis.

Jensen also carries a sense of honest despair, admitting he sees little in the way of widespread, fundamental change. Rather than seeking out revolutionary means to revolutionary ends, he instead prefers to deal in ways in which he feels he’s made a more immediate, though irrelevant and fleeting, impact.

In talking about strategies for change, Jensen sees the Amerikan left engaged in three types: electoral politics, movement politics and local projects. He sees no use in electoral politics. Movement politics have their limits also, especially in their emphasis on protest marches. Bringing up the February 15, 2003 worldwide marches against the invasion of Iraq, the largest coordinated protest in history, which the New York Times said made world opinion a second superpower, he noted that they did nothing to stop that war. He sees more hope in local projects, things like community gardens and such. According to Jensen, the potential for dialogue and debate among others is increased in local projects, though he didn’t specify to what concrete end. The example he raised as his own efforts with local projects was a worker-owned cafe in Austin, though he admitted this effort failed to get off the ground.

While we understand the frustrations in observing the seemingly immovable state of Amerika and the world, the lack of radicalism in Amerikan mass politics, and the inability for radicals to act effectively in a minoritarian context, there were limits to Jensen’s insights beyond this.

When prodded by a RAIM comrade, Jensen admitted that the First World benefits from the exploitation of the Third World. When asked how this phenomenon of entire populations benefiting from others related to and could perhaps be overcome by local projects, he didn’t have an answer.  When asked about a solution in putting local projects to tackling this global issue of exploitation, he said the question was too big and too complicated to solve.

Jensen’s inability to answer straight questions were illuminating to the level of confusion within the Amerikan left, even amongst its intellectuals.  Jensen is one of the better intellectuals on the left, as he critiques metaphysical liberal ideas in favor of more radical analyses.  Jensen’s desire for revolutionary change is in some ways genuine, though Jensen himself is unable to come up with an effective model for widespread fundamental change.  Instead he promotes feel-good sub-reformism in the form of local projects, something he himself admits won’t work all the time. As once stated by Stokely Carmichael (later Kwame Ture), “Confusion is the greatest enemy of revolution.”

Much of this confusion can be seen in the trappings of left’s First Worldism.  Many on the left nominally go against imperialism while simultaneously campaigning to make Amerikans even better off. Jensen falls in this camp: he wants a better world but doesn’t want to alienate Amerikans. The truth is, Amerikans benefit from the global capitalist economic system as it is and have little material interest in working to create a new one.  This in part explains why revolutionary change seems so untenable within Amerika, even to those who genuinely desire it.

Unlike Jensen, we at RAIM apply global class analysis fully.  Doing simple math, Amerika is only 5 percent of the world population but the consumer of over 25 percent of the world’s resources.  The poorest half of the world lives on less than $2 a day, and the bottom 1.3 billion live on less than $1 a day.  Although Jensen admits this, RAIM-Denver plainly says the obvious truth and takes it to its logical end: Amerikans are part of the problem; they are a force which must be overcome during the course of progressive change. Unlike Jensen who is fruitlessly engaged in various forms of pandering to a population of petty exploiters and polluters, RAIM champions the cause of the world’s exploited and oppressed majority as the most direct route to creating a new world.

At one point, Jensen said that he struggles to identify as part of humanity and not Amerikan, white or male. In reality, to stand with humanity is to stand against Amerika and the First World.

The First World is destroying the planet and exploiting its people. On a structural level, this mean that the principal antagonism is between imperialism and the people of exploited nations. Exploitation-driven consumption and related environmental destruction affect the Third World the most, while benefits, even indirectly, trickle up to the First World.  The solution for this problem isn’t for those in the First World to engage in local projects. Rather, real change will come when Third World peoples wrestle stolen wealth out of the hands of First World imperialists. While this includes worker-owned industry on the part of currently exploited people, history has proven that this itself requires a fight and involves actual confrontations. Amerikans are not simply going to stop being exploiters: unlike the fluffy revolution of values Jensen dreams up, revolutions actually require revolution.

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Conflict Heats Up in Oil-Rich Niger Delta

MEND Rebels (Photo credit : PIUS UTOMI EKPEI/AFP/Getty Images)

MEND Rebels (Photo credit : PIUS UTOMI EKPEI/AFP/Getty Images)

Conflict Heats Up in Oil-Rich Niger Delta

https://raimd.wordpress.com

The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) has recently released statements refusing offers of amnesty by the Nigerian state and, as of June 6th, given local and foreign oil workers 72 hours notice of an “imminent attack.” “The warning also applies to greedy individuals from oil communities tempted to carry out repair contracts on pipelines already destroyed,” MEND added.

These statements follow a major military campaign aimed at crushing MEND. As part of the campaign, which displaced thousands of indigenous civilians, the Nigerian military has been accused of indiscriminate aerial bombings and shelling villages. A spokesman from the Nigerian military called MEND’s warning an “empty boast by a toothless gang” and urged oil workers to disregard the threat.

In 2006, MEND began attacking oil installations, sabotaging infrastructure and kidnapping oil-industry workers for ransom. Since then, analysts have noted that the rebel group has grown more sophisticated. In June of 2008, MEND attacked Shell’s main oil platform, which, at 75 miles from shore, was thought to be safe from militant assaults. As a result, the platform, which normally produces 200,000 barrels per day, was temporarily closed, reducing Nigeria’s total oil production by 10% overnight. Since January of 2006, unrest in the Niger Delta has reduced Nigeria’s daily output from 2.6 million barrels to 1.76 million. Niger is the fifth largest importer of crude oil into the U.S.; oil accounts for 95% of Nigeria’s export income.

In January of 2009, MEND called off a four month ceasefire and resumed attacks against imperialist operations and infrastructure. MEND says that oil operations have caused massive pollution, killed local wildlife and left indigenous communities without a means of subsistence. Niger Delta communities use very little oil themselves. Almost no oil revenue makes it to the communities most affected by oil production. Instead it is exported as profits by companies such as Royal Dutch Shell and Chevron, transferred to the First World via price fixing and unequal exchange or consumed by local puppet-elites. Speaking of their own movement, MEND says, “The very reason for militancy is because of injustice. Fiscal federalism is among the things that will silence our guns.”

Under the current schema, imperialism dominates the Nigeria economy. This has predictably led to a social and environmental catastrophe. Traditional modes of existence have been destroyed through activities inherent in the maintenance of the modern global economy. In this case, foreign companies get the oil at the lowest cost possible and with no regard for existing communities or the environment and export it to consumption-based economies of the West. The people of the Niger Delta, instead of finding any benefit from this process, have lost their previous ability to feed themselves from their natural surroundings and have little opportunities to find subsistence level wages on their own land or in their own country. Regardless of natural wealth, imperialism is a death warrant for indigenous Third World peoples.

MEND’s struggle is a just one. Faced with displacement, oppression and exploitation by imperialism, Third World peoples have little alternative but fighting back at those who direct and facilitate such oppression. For groups like MEND, this means a struggle not only against the imperialist oil-industry but also against the Nigerian state. As witnessed by the military’s most recent offensive against MEND, the Nigerian state is itself an agent of imperialism whose main role is protecting, militarily if need be, the interests of multi-national oil companies.

The struggle of the Niger Delta masses against imperialism and its local puppets is one that must be supported by all revolutionary peoples. This is because the struggle in the Niger Delta is part of a larger struggle shared by the vast majority of humanity. A serious blow to imperialism in Nigeria weakens imperialism as a whole, allowing for revolutionary advances on the part of oppressed peoples elsewhere. Conversely, while MEND might be able to land some blows against Chevron, Royal Dutch Shell and the Nigerian state, the struggle against imperialism can only come to a victorious resolution through a unified effort on the part of oppressed peoples from countries around the world. Only by way of a global anti-imperialist struggle can imperialist exploitation, and the devastating social and environmental impacts that accompany it, no longer remain a threat to oppressed peoples. Only through the unified struggle of oppressed peoples against capitalist-imperialism and its various local lackeys can a new world, one based on the needs of people, be built.

Sources:

http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5jIpUqBhxcOji3lQkTFIW07yahD8Q
http://www.democracynow.org/2009/5/21/nigeria
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/7861257.stm
http://www.234next.com/csp/cms/sites/Next/News/National/5422826-146/story.csp
http://www.eia.doe.gov/pub/oil_gas/petroleum/data_publications/company_level_imports/current/import.html
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/7463288.stm

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I-70 Expansion Plans Indicative of Wider Imperialist Parasitism

Highway-I-70

I-70 Expansion Plans Indicative of Wider Imperialist Parasitism

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Discussions about expanding Interstate 70 in Colorado have been happening for nearly a decade now. Proponents have cited everything from the living standards of Coloradans, quantified by their ability to quickly traverse the state’s main East-West highway, to the economic incentive of drawing into the state more tourist and commercial transport dollars. Proponents also say the state’s growing population will hasten the need for highway expansion projects.

More recently, plans to expand I-70 east of I-25 in Denver have moved forward with the publishing of a draft study on the environmental and social impacts of various options. Amongst other things, the study considered not expanding anything, expanding other main East-West Denver thoroughfares, building a multi-level highway, building an underground highway, expanding I-70 at the sides and rerouting the part of the highway. The later two options are most favored by the study. The portion of I-70 proposed for expansion is elevated over neighborhoods heavily populated by nationally oppressed peoples. The portion of the highway is also filled with potholes and bad patch-up jobs and predicted to be a point of major traffic congestion over the next ten years.

Thus far, the most vocal critics of the highway expansion plans has been the local environmental group, High Country Earth First! (HCEF!). HCEF! cites ecological concerns and a general critique of Amerika’s consumer economy, as well as advocacy for the neighborhoods which would be affected most, amongst its primary criticisms of the highway expansion plan.  According to HCEF!, any proposed highway expansion would contribute to problems such as urban sprawl, global warming, endangerment to local wildlife habitats and would negatively affect the surrounding nationally oppressed communities. According to HCEF!, the planned I-70 expansion “is part of the greater picture, one where poor people and communities of color are systemically oppressed by the state for the continued privilege of white people and the wealthy. Infrastructure expansion doesn’t meet the needs of underserved communities and only furthers their destruction. The I-70 expansion is no different; a low income community of color would be disrupted and displaced to serve the needs of a capitalist white supremacy.”

The Real Bigger Picture

While the proposed I-70 expansion occurs within the often obscured context of capitalist-imperialism, the cognitive reasons for the project, as noted by proponents and critics, are pretty clear cut: to bring more money into the state. Underlying these seemingly disconnected notions is the interconnected economics of it all.

Building a highway does not itself create value: portions of it will not be sold as a commodity in the form of a toll or user-fee. Rather, a highway expansion has one clear purpose, to better facilitate commerce, trade and private spending in the state. Whereas this added economic activity may inject billions of additional dollars into the state, this does not necessarily mean that such value was itself created within the state.

Under capitalism, value is created by labor engaged in the creation and distribution of commodities. Under capitalism, workers are only paid a portion of the value that was created and the capitalist keeps the rest. The situation today however is vastly more complicated.

Production and distribution is organized on a global scale and vast disparities exist between workers themselves. Nevertheless, value is still created by labor. The difference today is that whereas most of the world’s value is created in the Third World, it becomes realized and concentrated within the First. Thus, from the perspective of a single locality within the exploiter First World, anything that increases local commerce and economic activity in the area increases the realization of surplus value and the accumulation of capital.

Simply put, expanding I-70 will mean that more value created elsewhere will be channeled into the Colorado economy. The exploitative global relationship that is capitalist-imperialism makes the question of redundant and ecologically unsound infrastructure such as ever-increasing urban highways systems a realistic, even necessary one. Even truck drivers and highway construction workers, whose compensation places them in the richest 10% of the world, find themselves in positions of intersecting interest with the expansive system of imperialist parasitism.

Summing It Up

HCEF! gets it partially right when they say, “Infrastructure expansion doesn’t meet the needs of underserved communities and only furthers their destruction. The I-70 expansion is no different; a low income community of color would be disrupted and displaced to serve the needs of a capitalist white supremacy.”

HCEF! is right to frame the issue more as one of relative privilege than direct exploitation. Indeed, infrastructure expansion is meant to serve the general exploiter economy: one in which nationally oppressed peoples receive less opportunities and encounter more obstacles. For the most exploitative and oppressive sectors of Coloradan society, the damage done to the relatively least empowered, nationally oppressed communities is seen as a necessary consequence of increasing economic activity and thus the realization of value via this highway expansion project. Nevertheless, projects such as the proposed expansion of I-70, despite the damage it may cause to specific communities, should be seen for what it is: the expansion of imperialist parasitism within the Denver/Colorado area.

Demands for People Centered Infrastructure

Obviously not all infrastructure is bad. RAIM-Denver is hardly opposed to highways and roads on their own merits. In fact, a better regular distribution of food and medical supplies, which requires better road systems, and basic infrastructure such as water sanitation facilities and simply utilities are some of the basic demands of the world’s impoverished majority. While it is true that the natural capacity of the Earth could not allow the current mode and standard of living of Amerikans to be replicated the world over, this is more than anything else a reflection as to the depth of imperialist parasitism and the necessity of developing different productive and distributive arrangements in a new world.

As with imperialist parasitism itself, RAIM-Denver opposes any expansion of the I-70 highway system. Rather than continually expanding the material base for the realization of stolen wealth at this or that locality within the First World, RAIM-Denver demands that all resources for such projects instead be directed toward building life-saving and basic infrastructure, such that is centered around the creation of a more socially egalitarian and eco-centric organization of economic activity.

The proposed expansion of I-70 is merely symptomatic of a wider phenomenon of global exploitation and parasitism. In the end, only through destruction of this global imperialist paradigm will the idea of ever-expanding and destructive infrastructure projects, such as the proposed I-70 expansion, forever become of a remnant of a more primitive past. Only through the destruction of the modern capitalist-imperialist system can a fundamentally new world emerge.

Sources:

http://www.unconventionaldenver.org/?p=380

http://www.i-70east.com/reports.html

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Pigs On a Rampage in Denver Area

Pigs On a Rampage in Denver Area

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Over the past few months three men have been shot by the police in the Denver Metro area. The events behind the multiple shootings are sketchy.

The latest was Darius Murray, shot on Saturday May 9th. The Aurora Pig Department originally claimed that 18-year old Darius Murray shot himself in the forehead after already being wounded by their officers (1). Later they backtracked and admitted that all of Murray’s wounds were caused by the officers. He remains in critical condition at University of Colorado Hospital.

According to the family’s lawyer, Derek Cole, the story the police are giving on the incident has constantly changed. The pigs say they were called out on an attempted burglary and when they tried to question Murray he “fired first” and “fired multiple times” before himself being shot in the leg, shoulder and head. He is being charged with attempted murder.(2)

The pigs refused to identify Murray as the shooting victim for two days after he was shot. The Murray family said the police never contacted them to let them know what happened. The family is not confident of police investigating police. The Aurora police chief, after saying he would not respond to the family’s concerns, issued a statement saying the shooting of Murray was justified(3).

Darius grew up in south Aurora and graduated from Colorado High School last year. While the details of the case are hazy, one thing is clear: he is another young Black male struck down through police terrorism.

This latest shooting follows two other shootings the month prior. In what sounds like an execution-style killing, the pigs killed an unarmed, un-named man on East Fifth Avenue and Lafayette St. on February 27th (4). And, in Arvada, police shot an unarmed, unnamed male on Feb.16, 2009 (5). Both shootings followed traffic stops.

Police terror is a mark of national oppression in the cities of Amerika. With oppression comes resistance. For oppressed nations within Amerika, this resistance is rightfully directed against the occupying army of violent, oppressive pigs. The Black Nation has the right of self-defense against police terror. For Blacks and oppressed nations the world over, freedom will come when it throws off the oppression that comes with Amerika.

Sources

(1). “Family wants answers after teen shot by officers.” 9News. http://www.9news.com/news/local/article.aspx?storyid=115606&catid=346

(2). “Colorado Crimes: Suspect in officer-involved shooting didn’t shoot himself.” Tuesday, May 12, 2009. http://blogs.westword.com/latestword/2009/05/colorado_crimes_suspect_in_off.php

(3). “Aurora chief calls police shooting justified.” Denver Post. May 13, 2009. http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_12359557 ;
“Aurora police chief defends officers’ shooting of suspect.” Denver Post. May 14, 2009. http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_12364347

(4). “Police Shooting Murky.” Mike McPhee. Denver Post. February 28, 2009. http://www.denverpost.com/breakingnews/ci_11804532

(5).“Suspect Shot After Assaulting Arvada Officer.” http://arvadapd.org/about-arvadapd/suspect-shot-after-assaulting-arvada-officer

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Class Today and the Struggle for a New World

class today cover

(https://raimd.wordpress.com)

“We want a better world. We want a world based on equality and mutuality. We envision a future in which the full potential of humanity is realized: one without unequal power relations and one of ecological harmony. Creating such a world is our common cause.” Such is the revolutionary refrain.

However pious the statements are, they stand disconnected from the world today: one full of inequality, oppression, coercion, violence, poverty and so on. If we really seek to create such a new, ‘utopian’ world, one thing is clear- we have a lot of work to do. Before we embark on this huge project, we need a plan or some sort of road map. Before we can chart a course towards the world we’d like to see, we must understand where we are now.

The world today is marked by extreme inequalities and stratification. The vast majority of people, around eighty percent, subsist on less than ten dollars a day. (1) Theirs is a world of poverty, toil and deprivation. Contrasted to this is a privileged minority noted for affluence, consumption and waste. Generally speaking, this social divide breaks down geographically: vast impoverishment being the norm of the ‘Third World’ and widespread affluence characteristic of the ‘First World.’

The scope and depth of this situation is unimaginable. In India alone, seven hundred million people live on less than two dollars dollars a day. (2) This is roughly equivalent to the entire English-speaking world. Around half of the world, about 3.5 billion people, live on less that $2.50 a day. (1) The human effects are devastating. For example, every year over 2 million people die of water born disease and every five seconds a child dies of starvation or malnutrition. (3) (4) All of these deaths are preventable: on a daily basis Amerikans alone have an average intake of 3,700 calories, throw away almost a third of their edible food and use 5.8 billion gallons of potable water just for toilets. (5) (6) (7)

The squalor of the of Third World and the squander of the First are directly related. Each world’s respective condition is the direct result of exploitation. The modern system of exploitation, whereby a global minority in a few rich countries lives at the expense of the impoverished global majority, is called imperialism. That is to say that in relation to the imperialist system and the Third World masses, those in the First World are beneficiaries of the former and a petty class of exploiters towards the latter.

Imperialism is currently the most widespread, fundamental form of oppression. This does not mean that other forms of oppression do not exist. Rather, imperialism is currently the dominant form of oppression: it touches the most people in the most fundamental way; it is the foremost determinant of life-options and class; and other forms of oppression are almost always negated, heightened, co-opted or superseded by imperialist exploitation. Imperialism drives social life today.

Attitudes and trends of thought, or ‘class consciousness,’ confirm this social reality. Whereas apathy and post modernism are common in the West, this is due to the lack of a functional need for a politically charged population. When First Worlders do express political views they are almost always supportive of imperialism. Mindless consumerism, a natural aspect of any society fattened on stolen wealth, is also a major phenomenon in the First World. On the other side of the social world, those in the Third World naturally resist their oppression. Radical Islam, the fastest growing social movement of the last thirty years, is in many regards an opposition movement against imperialism. This amalgamation of religion and anti-imperialism is no accident. Rather, it is evidence of two truths. First, the main social antagonism today is between the Third and First World. Second, oppression and resistance are inseparable.

Insofar as imperialism is the most fundamental form of oppression, resistance and revolutionary struggles are regular features in the Third World and at the margin. It is the Third World’s anti-imperialist struggle which is both the most widespread and common struggle amongst the global masses and by definition one against the core of global power. Containing amazing diversity, flaws and potential, the global anti-imperialist struggle is the struggle of the world’s exploited majority.

The anti-imperialist struggle is the modern day revolutionary struggle. The struggle of the global masses who are exploited by imperialism is of primary importance for those who seek a fundamentally better world: one that cannot freely evolve from the current one.

Anti-imperialist initiatives and revolutions in a single country or territory weakens the imperialist system as a whole and gives a new impetus for further, more widespread change.  It is as part of the global fight against imperialism that the foundations for a new world are built and of this process itself from which further revolutionary potential emerges. In our period, the complete abolition of capitalism, patriarchy, youth oppression and other unequal structural relationships as well as arriving at a state of mutuality and ecological harmony are directly tied the destruction of the current order via anti-imperialist struggle.

For revolutionaries around the world the current task is to advance and support the ongoing struggle against imperialism as part of our radical vision of a world free from all oppression. Those revolutionaries in the First World, who owing to class composition are few and far between and separated from the struggle of the world’s exploited masses, naturally find this task daunting. Nevertheless, for all those who desire a new world, this is the struggle we must engage in.

No doubt, the path before us is long and arduous. However, the place to begin is here; the time to start is now.

(1) http://www.globalissues.org/article/26/poverty-facts-and-stats
(2) http://www.usaid.gov/locations/asia/countries/india/
(3) http://www.pacinst.org/reports/water_related_deaths/water_related_deaths_report.pdf
(4) http://www.fao.org/docrep/005/y7352e/y7352e03.htm#P1_34
(5) http://www.pacinst.org/reports/water_related_deaths/water_related_deaths_report.pdf
(6) http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/18/weekinreview/18martin.html?partner=rssnyt
(7) http://www.fypower.org/res/tools/products_results.html?id=100139

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U.S. Troop Injured by Philippine Rebel Group

01_kmara_targetting

U.S. Troop Injured by Philippine Rebel Group

(https://raimd.wordpress.com)

On April 28th, the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) announced that its military wing, the New People’s Army(NPA), injured a U.S. soldier embedded with the Philippine Army. According to the CPP, the Philippine Army attempted to encircle and attack a unit of the NPA, at which point the U.S. troop was injured, three Philippine state soldiers were killed and one NPA fighter was martyred. The New People’s Army, founded in 1969, has led South East Asia’s longest running insurgency. In 2002, both the CPP and the NPA were added onto the U.S. State Department’s list of foreign terrorist organizations.

The Philippines was one of the first overseas colonies of the United States. Today, U.S. imperialism rules through proxy governments. Though the U.S. has not operated military bases in the Philippines since 1991, U.S. troops are stationed in the country to augment the police powers of the comprador Philippine state. In 2008, the U.S. provided the Philippine state with 30 million dollars in military aid and admits to providing training, intelligence and consulting in its crusade against a number of insurgencies. While the U.S. claims its troops in the Philippines are limited to “humanitarian” roles, the CPP and independent NGOs have in the past stated that the United States is directly involved in military operations in the country.

More often than not, we are used to hearing about the U.S. military operating in Iraq and Afghanistan. This most recent incident sheds light on the fact that the U.S. military is used against peoples’ resistance even when it’s not widely publicized. The United States is not just involved in overthrowing recalcitrant governments; it also quietly supports its unpopular puppet-governments against the threat of homegrown insurgencies.

In an English-language statement, the Communist Party of the Philippines said it trusts that “the vast majority of the Amerikan people oppose U.S. participation in foreign civil wars,” and urged  the “Amerikan people not to allow their government to continue with military interventionism, waste millions of taxpayers’ money and risk the lives of US soldiers in the Philippine civil war.”

In reality, the vast majority of Amerikans hardly oppose U.S. aggression and bullying. This is because they have historically benefited from imperialism and continue to until this day. While the U.S. military may be currently bogged down in other regions of the world, relying on a non-existence shared interest with “the vast majority” Amerikans or any meaningful support on their part is not a viable long term strategy in struggle of the Filipino masses against imperialism and lackey capitalism.

Sources:
http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2009/05/09/18593985.php

Click to access RL32223.pdf


http://globalnation.inquirer.net/news/news/view/20080201-116212/US-military-aid-to-RP-up-tied-to-rights–advocacy-group
http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/2007-02-13-philippines-terror_x.htm

Click to access CPWReport.pdf

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May 19th: Happy Birthday, Malcolm X and Ho Chi Minh

On this day, May 19th, two great revolutionary leaders were born.

ho-chi-minhHo Chi Minh
May 19, 1890 – September 2, 1969

malcolmx

Malcolm X
May 19, 1925 – February 21, 1965

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May Day Report

May Day Report

May 5th, 2009

zapatabanner

Around 700 people demonstrated for an end to attacks on migrant workers on Saturday, May 2, 2009 in Greeley, Colorado. The event was sponsored by a  Greeley-based community group, Al Frente de Lucha, which has long been involved in the Mexicano/Chicano community there.  Greeley has been a focal point in immigration battles, with ICE raids continuing to affect the local community.

Caravans and groups of individuals from throughout the state converged in the late morning and remained mobilized throughout the afternoon. The march was diverse, comprised mostly of Latino families but also included activists and radicals from around the state and students from the University of Northern Colorado.

Along the parade route, people came out of their homes to photograph, wave, stare or join the march. Almost all of the chants were in Spanish. This was itself a minor victory of the march: vocally opposing Colorado’s nationally-oppressive English-only culture. Singers, speakers, and organizers shared words with the crowd prior to and after the march.

RAIM-Denver was one of the only groups directly agitating amongst the crowd. We passed out around 50 new issues of RAIM-D Global Digest, copies of the J Sakai interview Stolen at Gunpoint, well over a hundred copies of our statement of support for Mexican national liberation and gave away dozens of Deporten a los Pinches Gringos patches as well a few t-shirts.  Many people came up to us asking for our literature.  The Deporten a los Pinches Gringos image was a big hit, especially with the numerous Mexican kids but also with their parents.  Also, we got to bring out our new “Revolucion Sin Fronteras” banner, made with the cooperation of the Mexican National Liberation Movement, which also was popular among the crowd.

A verbal confrontation between RAIM-Denver and the racist, anti-migrant group The Minutemen did occur. RAIMsters and other anti-racists taunted the feeble-looking anti-immigrant racists, who numbered around ten. Ironically, the Minutemen were standing right in front of a Mexican restaurant the whole time.

May Day has re-emerged as a day of marches and rallies within the USA. This important development is spurred forward by the increase in US government attacks on “undocumented” Mexican workers in their occupied homeland, as well as others. In many cities, there were small and not-so-small rallies demanding reforms for the Third World workers in the U.S. This most recent development in the history of May Day is positive and should be supported. However, only through revolutionary struggles for liberation and justice on the part of exploited people can the problems of the Third World, and by extension those of Third World workers within U.S. borders, be resolved.

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More Info on Greeley May Day March

Greeley Unity March in Support of Migrants’ Rights

When: Saturday, May 2nd, 2009 @ 1pm

Where: Starts at Island Grove Park, 514 W. 14st

Carpool and caravans are leaving from four places in the greater Denver area.

Aurora: 16th and Dallas (Creative Options School) meet at 9:30 am

Denver: 12th & Mariposa (Lincoln Park) meet at 10:00 am (HOT COFFEE & Breakfast by Food Not Bombs!)

Longmont: Skyline High School (600 E Mountain View Ave) parking lot, meet at 11:30 am

Boulder: 3970 Broadway, Suite 105 (Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center) at 11:30 am

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RAIM-Denver May Day Program: Fuck the Border, Support Mexican National Liberation

deporten

Fuck the Border. Support Mexican National Liberation.

Amerika’s borders are militarily imposed. They were established as part of a genocidal expansion onto the North American continent. Amerika and its borders are illegitimate.

Amerika’s borders are currently a means to imprison the masses of the ‘Global South’ in abject poverty. RAIM-Denver supports their free movement into the United States. Those who oppose the free movement of oppressed peoples into the U.S. are enemies of the oppressed.

Mexicans are not “immigrants.” Amerika stole nearly half of Mexico. As is often the case, Mexican “immigrants” are returning to the “Southwest”: Occupied Mexico. There is nothing “alien” about Mexicans either. Mexicans have far more in common with the people of North and South America; they are far more representative of the world’s people. Amerikans are the real illegal aliens.

RAIM-Denver supports the revolutionary struggles of oppressed people. While this struggle is primarily one of people directly overthrowing imperialist exploitation in the Third World, it is clear that this struggle must also strike at the heart of imperialism. This fact, Amerika’s history and other factors, all necessitate the dismantling of the United States as a sovereign entity.

RAIM-Denver supports the creation of a Mexican state in the “Southwest” and its reunification with a revolutionized Mexico. As part of the complete overthrow of imperialism, RAIM-Denver supports dividing Amerika into different territories administered by oppressed peoples in alliance with the revolutionary Third World masses. Amerika has stolen much and its debt grows larger by the second. With the division and the ultimate destruction of Amerika, oppressed peoples around the world find common cause.

We are the Revolutionary Anti-Imperialist Movement- Denver. We promote the revolutionary transformation of society through the global struggle of the oppressed. Find out more at https://raimd.wordpress.com

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Obama Administration Boycotts U.N. Conference on Racism, Imperialists Walk Out During Ahmadinejad Speech

Obama Administration Boycotts U.N. Conference on Racism, Imperialists Walk Out During Ahmadinejad Speech

(https://raimd.wordpress.com)

On April 20th, the so-called United Nations opened its first World Conference Against Racism in eight years. The United States announced ahead of time that it would boycott the conference; similar announcements were made by Israel, Germany, Canada, Australia, and the Netherlands. Were it not for the terrible oppression that people around the world face due to imperialism, the fact that a global conference on racism is being boycotted by the Obama administration would merely seem ironic. Malcolm X, a Black nationalist and internationalist, was an early proponent of elevating racism as an international human rights issue.

While “race” is a false paradigm originally imposed by Western oppressor nations to justify their transnational rampage, greater awareness and intolerance for ‘racial’ oppression often makes racism a useful rhetorical device when employed by the oppressed. The only head of state to attend, Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, used the occasion to deliver a scathing critique of Western imperialism. Making the speech extraordinary however, delegates from the European Union collectively walked out during his speech. The Obama Administration claims it wouldn’t attend because the event would single-out Israel. (1). Ahmadinejad’s actual speech and the response it garnered highlight the real reasons behind the West’s collective rebuff.

Ahmadinejad used the occasion to question the legitimacy of the U.N. Security Council and its commitment to humanity. “Look at the Security Council which is the legacy of World War I and II. Based on what logic have they been given the right to veto?,” Ahmadinejad asked. “When there is legal discrimination and the law-making centre is a source of bullying and force instead of justice and fairness, how can one expect to achieve justice and peace?”

Ahmadinejad also juxtaposed imperialism’s shallow condemnation of “racial discrimination” with its flagrant oppression of the vast majority of humanity. All of this led up to this statement and prompted the Western delegates to walk out:

“After the Second World War, by exploiting the holocaust and under the pretext of protecting the Jews they made a nation homeless with military expeditions and invasion. They transferred various groups of people from America, Europe and other countries to this land. They established a completely racist government in the occupied Palestinian territories. [delegates walk out] And in fact, under the pretext of making up for damages resulting from racism in Europe, they established the most aggressive, racist country in another territory, i.e. Palestine.”

Ahmadinejad didn’t say anything new or remarkable; he was speaking for the Palestinian masses whose voices are systematically excluded from typical international dialogue, including representation in the U.N. The boycott and walk-out by the West simply demonstrates that imperialism has nothing but contempt, accompanied by arrogance, for the oppressed Palestinian masses.

Barack Obama has made a big show about dialogue and open debate. The U.N. Conference Against Racism was just that, a U.N. sanctioned conference with no authoritative power. In reality, Obama is committed to liberal ideas such as ‘dialogue’ only when it furthers the interests of U.S. imperialism. The recent World Conference Against Racism provided an unusual global platform to speak out against U.S. imperialism, thus the Obama administration went out of its way to wreck it.

Rather than continuing the legacy of Malcolm X, Barack Obama spits on it. Malcolm X sought unity with the world’s people in order to fight oppression globally. Barack Obama on the other hand actively works to strengthen to imperialist system which oppresses the world’s people. Obama and the West’s flagrant anti-Palestine, anti-oppressed, ultra-reactionary posturing should both forever shatter the idea of ‘race’ and racism as central features of global oppression and put the revolutionary attention of the global masses where it should be, fighting the U.S.-led capitalist-imperialist system.

Sources:

http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/04/18/U.S.racism.conference/index.html

http://usa.mediamonitors.net/content/view/full/61690

http://www.un.org/members/list.shtml

Ahmadinejad speech: full text http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/8010747.stm

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MSH: Imperialists are the Real Pirates

mline3

Imperialists are the real pirates
(monkeysmashesheaven.wordpress.com)

The Amerikan media is buzzing about pirates. In a recent incident, so-called “pirates” attempted to capture the cargo ship Maersk Alabama. According to mainstream reports, when the Somalis failed to take the ship, they fled the scene, taking the ship’s captain with them as a hostage to ransom later. Later, captain Phillips, an Amerikan, was freed by U$ Navy snipers who killed three of the Somalis and injured one other. The Somali version of events is much different than the one reported in the Amerikan media. According to Somali leader Abdi Garad, the Amerikans broke a truce agreement: “The American liars have killed our friends after they agreed to free the hostage without ransom.” (1)

The supposed “pirate menace” has provided Obama with a perfect, win-win situation. Obama was able to bloody his presidency in a low-risk engagement against a very weak enemy. Thus, Obama answered critics who claim that he is too soft. Even Obama’s usual critics are praising his action against the so-called pirate menace. Not surprisingly, the events of the past few days reveal that Obama is a run-of-the-mill imperialist. It is likely that the imperialists will use the excuse of “pirates” to increase their activity in Africa over the next decade.

Imperialists are the real pirates.

Firstly, the cargo ships that traverse the waters of the Somali coast are part of the imperialist system. They transport millions of dollars of stolen loot between the First and Third Worlds. The people of the Third World are completely justified in retrieving the wealth stolen from them.

Secondly, imperialist corporations have been destroying the Somali coastline with impunity since the early 1990s. According to Januna Ali Jama, a Somali spokesman, the actions of the Somali “pirates” are in response to “the toxic waste that has been continually dumped on the shores of our country for nearly 20 years.”

“The Somali coastline has been destroyed, and we believe this money is nothing compared to the devastation that we have seen on the seas.”

These charges have been confirmed by Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah, the UN envoy for Somalia. He stated that dumping and illegal fishing allegations have been made since the early 1990s.

Again dramatically confirming the imperialist crimes, the UN Environmental Program (UNEP) reported that rusted containers of toxic waste were found washed up on the Somali coastline after the 2004 tsunami. A UNEP spokesperson said that the containers were smashed open by the waves of the tsunami. The UNEP spokesperson said that the “frightening activity” of dumping had been going on for a decade. He stated that hundreds of Somali residents had become ill, suffering mouth and abdominal bleeding, skin infections and other ailments due to the dumping.

“Somalia has been used as a dumping ground for hazardous waste starting in the early 1990s, and continuing through the civil war there,” he said.

“European companies found it to be very cheap to get rid of the waste, costing as little as $2.50 a tonne, where waste disposal costs in Europe are something like $1000 a tonne.”
“And the waste is many different kinds. There is uranium radioactive waste. There is lead, and heavy metals like cadmium and mercury. There is also industrial waste, and there are hospital wastes, chemical wastes – you name it.”

UN envoy Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah confirmed the claims, “What is most alarming here is that nuclear waste is being dumped. Radioactive uranium waste that is potentially killing Somalis and completely destroying the ocean.”

According to Mohammed Gure, chairman of the Somalia Concern Group, “The Somali coastline used to sustain hundreds of thousands of people, as a source of food and livelihoods. Now much of it is almost destroyed..” (2)

All this goes to show that the real pirate menace is imperialism. The imperialists have stolen an entire coastline from the Somali people. They have stolen their health and way of life. We wish the Somali people luck in redistributing wealth from the First to the Third World. We wish them luck in taxing the real pirates, the imperialists, who have stolen so much from them.

Notes.
1. http://english.aljazeera.net/news/africa/2009/04/200941373925842364.html
2. http://english.aljazeera.net/news/africa/2008/10/2008109174223218644.html

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May 2nd Greeley Unity March for Migrant Rights

flyer-for-denver-eng-y-esp1

RAIM posts this info in solidarity with the organizers of the migrant rights march in Greeley on May 2nd. Right wing forces are planning to counter this march, so it is essential for all progressive forces to be at this march who can.

Info below is about the starting point of the Greeley march, as well as caravan sites in Denver and Aurora for those from the area to make the trip up.

***Please FWD! Join Us & Spread the Word!***

Reconstructing Our Communities

Uniting Our Families

Unity March!

Saturday, May 2nd, 2009

Starts at the Island Grove Park514 N. 14th Ave, Greeley, Colorado

Respect for Human Rights!

Just & Humane Immigration Reform!

For a better Greeley, in a better world!

For More Information: alfrentedelucha@gmail.com, 970.388.0834 or 303.887.2795

========================================================

Denver! Meet at one of these points to Caravan or take a Bus to Greeley at 9:30 AM, Saturday, May 2nd, 2009!

Aurora—16th & Dallas or Denver —12th & Mariposa (Lincoln Park)

You are welcome to bring Food or Donations for Greeley families affected by ongoing immigration Raids!

Denver Contacts: Homero 303.437.7805 & Nacho 720.621.7468

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Puntos de reunion para la caravana a Greeley! Iremos en autos y buses a las 9:30 AM, El Sabado 2 de Mayo, 2009!

Aurora— Calle 16 y Dallas o Denver —Calle 12 y Mariposa (Lincoln Park)

Interesados traer donaciones de alimentos u otras para las familias afectadas por las redadas.

Contactos en Denver: Homero 303.437.7805 y Nacho 720.621.7468

========================================================

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Support Migrants’ Struggles!

Event!

Al Frente de Lucha has called together a Unity March in solidarity with migrants and their families. Join RAIM-Denver and many others on Saturday, May 2nd in Greeley, Colorado as we march in support of migrants’ struggles and agitate for heightened revolutionary struggle.

When: May 2nd, 1:00 pm
Where: Island Grove Park. 514 N. 14th Ave. Greeley, Co

A caravan from Denver is in the works. Al Frente de Lucha is asking for logistical and material support. To find out more contact alfrentedelucha@gmail.com or visit http://www.myspace.com/alfrentedelucha. We’ll post updates as we get them.

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MSH: Fujimori Gulty, Gets 25 years

(Via Monkey Smashes Heaven)

(monkeysmashesheaven.wordpress.com)

Ex-dictator of Peru, Alberto Fujimori, today, received a sentence of 25 years in prison. Fujimori was found to have authorized the actions of the infamous La Colina death squad that claimed the lives of 25 people in 1991 and 1992. In addition, Fujimori was found guilty of authorizing the abduction of a journalist and a businessman. (1) In reality, Fujimori is responsible for far more deaths than the 25 he is accused of. Over 60,000 people are officially estimated to have been killed or “disappeared” in the Peruvian state’s genocidal war against the countryside of Peru in the 1980s and 1990s. Fujimori, working closely with U$ intelligence, military, and narcotics agencies, enforced a bloody terrorist state on the Peruvian people.

The Alan Garcia regime, in laying the blame on Fujimori, no doubt, seeks to exonerate itself from any wrong doing. In fact, the people’s war was launched when the Garcia regime was in power. And, the Garcia regime has plenty of blood on its hands. It was during Garcia’s presidency that the newspaper El Diario’s offices were bombed. According to a declassified U$ document, Garcia was behind the attack. El Diario was sympathetic to the people’s war. In addition, Garcia maintained a secret police that carried out extra-judicial executions. (2)

The Garcia regime trying Fujimori no more cares about the Peruvian people than Fujimori. Not only is Garcia using the trial of Fujimori to distract eyes from Garcia’s own role. But, also, the bourgeois forces in Peru are getting their revenge on Fujimori for his “selfcoup” in March 1992, when Fujimori, with the aid of the military, disbanded Peru’s congress led by Garcia’s APRA, hence, Fujimori became out-and-out dictator.

“What difference is there? Why are Alan Garcia and Fernando Belaunde innocent and Alberto Fujimori guilty? Why the double standard?” asked Fujimori. (3)

They aren’t. The Peruvian people deserve true justice, not the farce of political infighting of the bourgeoisie. Fujimori, Garcia, and, mass murder and public enemy number 1, Uncle Sam should all meet their fate at the hands of the masses of the world.

Notes.

1. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/7986951.stm

2. http://thekomisarscoop.com/2007/12/05/peru-us-govt-document-links-garcia-to-1980s-death-squads/

3. http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/N03337545.htm

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In Danger of Being Snuffed Out by Imperialism, Sumatran Tigers, Lacking Class Consciousness, Strike Out Against Super-Exploited Neighbors

sumatran_tiger

In Danger of Being Snuffed Out by Imperialism, Sumatran Tigers, Lacking Class Consciousness, Strike Out Against Super-Exploited Neighbors

(https://raimd.wordpress.com)

Like many of the world’s animals, the Sumatran tiger is facing extinction due to imperialism’s ravenous exploitation of the vast Third World. With less than four hundred remaining in the wild, the Sumatran tiger, like uncountable other species and sub-species, is recognized as being “critically endangered” while simultaneously being wiped through activities inherent to the current system. Unlike other animals however, the Sumatran tiger is not dying-off gracefully.

Like many other rainforest animals, a dwindling habitat and food supply caused by deforestation has the Sumatran tiger facing its end. Hungry, some of the tigers have begun attacking people, many of them employed by what have been called illegal logging operations. Attacks against humans first occurred in 1997. Between January 24th and March 3rd of this year, nine people have been killed by the rare tigers. Since the 1985, fifty percent of the islands remaining forests have been destroyed.

The primary culprits are Asian Pulp and Paper (APP) and other companies under the Indonesian holding company Sinar Mas Group (SMG). As recently as 2008 the companies were investigated for illegal practices. According to local NGOs, the companies’ operations are “legally questionable and environmentally unsound.” Since the 80’s APP alone has cleared an estimated 2.5 million acres of virgin forest on the island. Despite the clear habitat and environmental destruction their practices cause, APP plans on expanding its operation on both Sumatra and to the neighboring island of Papua New Guinea.

Asian Pulp and Paper has also been accused of various human rights abuses. Indigenous peoples’ claim that the logging companies have seized their land, intimidated them and denied them access to traditionally public areas. According to Amnesty International, in December of 2008 APP destroyed a village, leaving four hundred people without homes. Greenpeace claims security guards working for another SMG company assaulted peaceful protestors. Neither for human rights abuses nor environment destruction has APP or its partner companies faced legal action.

This unfortunate situation occurs within the context of imperialism: whereby the lives, labor and natural resources of the Third World are exploited for the benefit of the First World. The pattern in Sumatra is all to familiar: the land is sold off to investors and the newly uprooted indigenous populations employed at massively exploitative wages in occupations geared towards the exportation of their natural wealth. The stories change only in the details. Here, Sinar Mas Group does the exploiting and passes on the discount to First World consumer outlets such as Target and ultimately First World consumers themselves. It is as unfortunate as predictable that the Sumatran Tiger, and countless other unreported species, are caught in the middle of this vicious system.

It is in the interest of the Sumatran Tiger and bio-diversity as a whole that the capitalist imperialist system be overthrown. A system that seeks ever expanded markets, transactions and profits is simply not compatible with the natural world. Justifying its increasing ecological destruction, a representative for a SMG company recently said, “We are still a growing company. We (Indonesia) are still competing with Malaysia to become the world’s top producer of palm oil.”

Unfortunately, Sumatran tigers, as evidenced by this string of attacks on their Sumatran neighbors, are incapable of forming class consciousness against a common oppressor. Unlike an amorphized ‘Animal Kingdom’ or metaphysical concepts of a ‘Gaia,’ the only force capable of freeing the island of Sumatra from the exploitation of First World imperialism is the exploited Sumatran masses and their allies in the Third World. Only by uniting the masses against imperialist exploitation and building a new order based on rationally meeting basic needs can the people of the Third World, the Sumatran tiger and species like it live in a world, not of increasing exploitation and endangerment, but social and ecological harmony.

Sources:

http://news.mongabay.com/2009/0303-tigers.html

http://news.mongabay.com/2009/0318-hance_sumatrantiger.html

http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_asiapacific/view/416350/1/.html

http://www.reuters.com/article/GCA-BusinessofGreen/idUSTRE52J2QW20090320

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Ward Churchill Wins! $1 in damages.

churchillpriceless1

Ward Churchill Wins! $1 in damages.

(raimd.wordpress.com)

Ward Churchill was victorious in his lawsuit against the University of Colorado, Boulder, with the jury awarding him $1, the minimum amount allowed, as Churchill did not seek monetary damages. Ward was not seeking money but justice, and to get his previous job back. That part of the struggle is still to be determined.

As quoted from the Denver Post:

“Churchill briefly spoke outside the courtroom and said, “It took four years. It took a while. And it was quick, it was justice.”

CU “has been exposed for what it is,” Churchill said.

“It was found by a jury that I was wrongly fired,” he said. “They not only violated my rights, but my students’ rights and the community’s rights.”

Churchill said he was satisfied with a $1 judgment and said his case was not about money.

“Reinstatement, of course,” he said. “I did not ask for money. I asked for justice.”

*Denver Post, Felicia Cardona, 4/3/09.

As we stated over a year ago in our write-up “Ward Churchill Fired for Calling Little Eichmanns Little Eichmanns” when the CU Regents fired Churchill:

“Churchill plans to initiate a lawsuit against the University. RAIM-Denver wishes him success… The overwhelming issue from supporters was one of academic freedom. Many stood by Churchill while making sure to say that they didn’t agree with what he said. RAIM-D on the other hand says that not only does Churchill have a right to say what he said, but was right in what he said. Amerikkkans are not innocent of the crimes committed by their parasite imperialist nation. Plus they shouldn’t be surprised when those angered by its atrocities decide to hit back. The truth hurts, but Amerikkka has been in its luxury dugout too long.”

The fate of his job, and the judgment of the legal fees for his lawyer David Lane and staff, will still be decided by the judge in this case. Stay tuned for these developments.

There have been some great blogs covering this struggle that we recommend.

Open Anthropology, the source for the graphic above, is a dissident academic with good analysis of the Churchill case, as well as other topics RAIM has interests in too.  http://openanthropology.wordpress.com/

Also our honorary dissident academic Ben Whitmer hosts the Ward Churchill Trial blog.  Great news and analysis on the whole trial through and through. A round on us for your hard work. http://wardchurchilltrial.wordpress.com/

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Remember Luis “Junior” Martinez

luisjrmartinez1

“To die for the people is weightier than Mount Tai…

Wherever there is struggle there is sacrifice, and death is a common occurrence. But we have the interests of the people and the sufferings of the great majority at heart, and when we die for the people it is a worthy death.”

– Mao Zedong, Serve the People

This March 17th is the commemoration of the death of Luis Jr Martinez. On March 17 1973, the Crusade for Justice, a Chicano civil rights organization in Denver, was attacked in a police raid. In the ensuing attack Luis Jr Martinez was assassinated by a cop from the Denver police. Luis was a Chicano revolutionary who exemplified the spirit of resistance and struggle for Mexicano people in occupied land. He gave his life defending his people, and for this we observe his life.

As a youth Martinez grew up in the barrios of Denver. He put his energies into serving the community as he became more politically active and aware. Martinez eventually joined the Crusade for Justice, founded in 1966 and led by Rudolfo “Corky” Gonzalez. The Crusade for Justice was a leading Chicano nationalist organization and the Crusade and Corky became influential nationwide. With the Crusade Martinez attended the Poor Peoples Campaign in 1968 in DC.

Martinez was also a founder of a local chapter of the Black Berets, a national radical Chicano organization. They operated out of the Crusade building and assisted with security at community events. The Berets played an important role in the West High School blowouts in 1968, high school uprisings that happened all throughout Aztlan/Occupied Mexico.  Junior was active in serving, educating and organizing the Chicano community in many different ways.

Martinez was also an accomplished dancer. After traveling to Mexico Martinez founded the Baile de Chicano de Aztlan, a dance troupe within the Crusade. Using culture as a tool, he helped in bringing back culture from Mexico to teach to the people to help regain their cultural knowledge. The enthusiasm Martinez brought to his dance influenced others around him.

Luis became an outspoken and increasingly militant activist. Subsequently he was constantly targeted by the police. Like many debates among the Movement in this time, an issue at hand was armed self defense, with Martinez being an advocate that oppressed people have a right to defend themselves.

On February 27 1973 the American Indian Movement took over and occupied Wounded Knee, South Dakota in response to the long injustices and oppression faced by First Nation peoples. In Denver the Crusade helped organize protests in solidarity, showing unity and cooperation among oppressed nations within Amerika. Both AIM and Chicano organizations were targets of federal counterinsurgency under COINTELPRO, and the prospects of Chicano and Native unity was something they couldn’t tolerate. The Wounded Knee incident lasted 71 days, and the activity around it was a pretext to lead to a confrontation on March 17 of that year.

The police raided the Crusade headquarters at Colfax and Downing this day. A shootout happened between police and Chicanos, including Martinez. Luis was shot and killed, and another Crusade member was wounded. A subsequent explosion destroyed a Crusade apartment building. The reason for this explosion remains unknown, but was in the context of the Wounded Knee struggle, and this repressive act marked a turning point for movement activities in Denver.

Crusade for Justice building after police attack, 3/17/1973

Crusade for Justice building after police attack, 3/17/1973

The Founding of El Centro L.U.I.S., Continuing Internationalism

After Luis Jr Martinez was killed, movement activism took different directions. His brothers Joe and Mark Martinez founded in the mid-1970’s El Centro L.U.I.S. (Latinos United in International Solidarity) in his memory. It offered a more internationalist alternative to the then dominant and narrow cultural nationalism of the Crusade for Justice. Also as the Crusade slid into reformism, El Centro LUIS attempted to keep a revolutionary project going. At the time there was increased internationalist solidarity among Chicanos, Mexicans, Puerto Ricans, and Native Peoples. El Centro provided serve the people programs as well as advanced an anti-imperialist political program. Much of their work continues from their formed participants, including the Mexican National Liberation Movement founded in Colorado.

Along with Martinez, others from Colorado, as well as nationally, lost their lives for the movement also. They include Ricardo Falcon and Los Seis de Boulder. The Mexican National Liberation Movement recognizes these fallen comrades as Symbols of Resistance. As they describe it in a pamphlet they distribute commemorating the martyrs of the Chicano Movement from Colorado:

“Clarity of vision. Strength of spirit. Firmness of action. These are the gifts the Symbols of Resistance have given to the Mexicano community, gifts made all the more precious because they were given with the fullness and eternity of their lives. For these reasons the Movimiento de Liberacion Nacional Mexicano (M.L.N.M.) has the responsibility to honor its fallen heroes and martyrs. Any revolutionary movement must honor their martyrs who have attained the highest level of love that a human being can attain – the love for their people and the simple conviction that their people have a right to live their lives in dignity.”

With MLNM, RAIM also salutes Luis Jr Martinez this day, a Symbol of Resistance for all oppressed peoples and those who stand with them.

Sources:

“A Tribute to Luis ‘Jr.’ Martinez: A Call to Remember – A Commitment to Continue.” Pamphlet, distributed by Movimiento de Liberacion Nacional Mexicano. Date unknown.

“Disarm the Police, or Arm the People.” Pamphlet, Colorado Committee Against Repression (El Comite). 1979.

Vialpando, Angelo. “Luis Jr. Martinez.” The Symbols of Resistance: A Beyond Chicanismo Experience. Los Herederos of Change and Esperanza. Metro State College of Denver. 2002.

Photos from 500 Years of Chicano History.  Edited by Elizabeth Martinez.  Published by Southwest Organizing Project, Albuquerque.

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Obama to Iranian Leadership: Let’s Make a Deal

obama-matrix

Obama Tries to Cut a Deal with Iranian Leadership

by “Midwest RAIMster”

(http://antiimperialism.wordpress.com)

Marking the Iranian new year’s celebration, Nowruz, U.S. president Barack Obama released a video statement to the Middle East nation. While on the surface Obama offered his “best wishes” and the “promise of a new beginning,” such a statement can hardly be taken at face value.

The statement was aimed at three audiences specifically: the Iranian leadership, the Iranian people, and the Amerikan and Western masses. Lauding Iranian culture and making vague comparisons between Amerikans and Iranians, Obama both played into Iranian nationalism and invoked a false sense of fraternity between the Iranian and Amerikan people. Obama stressed that it was a “new day” and raised the false hope of a “greater peace.”

In truth, fraternity between the oppressed Iranians and oppressor Amerikans is a myth and Barack Obama is not in the position to offer changes to the basic relationship. Whereas Obama is a good orator whose words have an aire of credibility that George Bush lacked, the capitalist-imperialist system still demands the increasing exploitation of Third World peoples. Obama should be seen for the role he plays in this overall system.

Implied in Obama’s statement was a clear offer to the Iranian leadership: get with the program and there is a place for you in the imperialism system. Amerika’s desire to exploit Iran hasn’t changed. Now it appears as though the door is open for the current Iranian leadership to become the local managers for the Amerikan empire. While Obama emphasized dialogue and ‘mutual respect,’ if these tactics fail to bring about the desired result, Amerika will surely resort to covert destabilization efforts and direct military actions. In previous statements, Obama said he would not rule out the latter option in dealing with the Iranian leadership.

The statement was also directed to the Iranian masses. By invoking the Iranian holiday, Obama hoped to especially connect to this group. The aim of this was to cast domestic speculation on the Iranian leadership’s current anti-U.S. policies. This is especially hypocritical in that Obama’s efforts are aimed at bringing the Iranian masses under the exploitation the Western imperialism. Amerika’s current stance towards the Iranian leadership is based solely on whether they will be an accomplice to this exploitation.

Amerikans also took in the statement by the millions, many with enthusiasm. For them, Obama represents an imperialist figurehead which they can be proud of. While not giving up the drive to bring every corner of the globe under its domination, Amerika is now better able to claim it is doing so in the name of peace. Such a proposition is no less a tactic of imperialism, albeit a more popular one. As RAIM has previously stated, Obama represents the velvet glove of imperialism. False rhetoric of “mutual respect” and “peace” are likely to be continuing tactics of Obama and Amerika’s never ending war against the Third World masses.

Sources:
http://www.iht.com/articles/2009/03/20/news/IRAN-transcript.php
https://raimd.wordpress.com/2008/06/12/obama-shocks-arabs-touts-imperialist-creditials/
https://raimd.wordpress.com/2008/06/30/obama-%E2%80%9Cblack%E2%80%9D-messiah-for-white-amerika/

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Fuck the Troops

youtube and liveleak banned it, but the occasion demanded it:

http://megavideo.com/?v=RXRB381M

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ICC Issues Arrest Warrant for Sudanese President, U.S. Tightens the Screws on Africa

omaralbeshir2

(https://raimd.wordpress.com)

On March 4th, 2009, the International Kangaroo Court (ICC) charged Omar al-Bashir, the president of Sudan, with five counts of crimes against humanity and two counts of war crimes. The charges, which stem from the conflict in Darfur, are the first of their kind to be leveled against a seated head of state. Since armed conflict broke out in 2001, upwards of 200,000-300,000 people have died in the Darfur region.

The decision to charge al-Bashir has been protested by many of the world’s governments. Representatives from China, a country which is heavily invested in Sudan, said the charges will set back the peace process and instead promoted a combination of negotiations and joint UN-African Union peacekeeping missions. The president of Senegal urged for the charges to be dropped. A Libyan official was quoted as saying, “the decision [of the ICC] did not take into account the views of the African Union, the Arab League, the Organization of the Islamic Conference or the Nonaligned Movement.” A number of Middle East countries, including Syria and Iran, have came out against the charges. Leaders of Venezuela, Hezzbollah and Hamas have also made statements supportive of President al-Bashir.

The decision to charge al-Bashir is especially hypocritical as it was pushed through by the United States with Europe’s backing. The United States is one of the few countries which officially labels the situation in Darfur a genocide, a term rejected by both the UN and the ICC. Over the past ten years, the United States has been increasingly meddling in the country’s affairs. In 2007, after Sudan agree to allow in UN peacekeepers, U.S. officials expressed skepticism and promised to “tighten the screws.”

Sudan, the largest country in Africa, is resource rich. It exports oil, cotton, sesame, sugar and gum arabic. It also has deposits of gold, bauxite, copper, zinc, cobalt, uranium, iron, silver, nickel, tin and natural gas. Though undeveloped by Western capitalist standards, Sudan, like many African countries, contains enormous potential profit.

The trumped up charges against al-Bashir coincide with imperialism’s increasing interest in the African continent. Countries such as the Democratic Republic of Congo, Zimbabwe and Somalia have seen heightened levels of imperialist meddling and intimidation tactics over the last decade. In September of 2007, the United States Africa Command, or AFRICOM, was established to ensure Amerikan military supremacy over the region. With its influence in much South America waning and its adventures in the Middle East and Central Asia clearly failing, Amerika is now predictably setting its predatory sights on Africa.

The International Kangaroo Court that issued al-Bashir’s arrest warrant is just that: a kangaroo court meant to legitimize Amerika’s global dominance. It is a tool, much like a weapon, wielded against the Third World. The charges against al-Bashir primarily serve to increase Amerika’s exploitative role in Africa, not to further a humanitarian agenda. That the charges and circumstances behind them are so outrageous demonstrates the increasingly desperate and belligerent stance of the United States. The world is right to be unified in opposition to this power play by U.S. imperialism.

Human rights violations and crimes against humanity should be addressed by the international community. The situation in Darfur certainly implicates the Sudanese government in such crimes. However, these crimes occur in the context of larger historical and structural crimes carried out by Western imperialism. Moreover, the crimes in Darfur occur not absent more obvious crimes, most notably those carried out by the the United States in Afghanistan and Iraq. Any serious concern for humanity, any real international criminal court, would start at the top. Any serious attempt to prosecute crimes against humanity would not begin with President Omar al-Bashir, but the leaders of the United States and Western imperialism.

Sources:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/mar/04/omar-bashir-sudan-president-arrest
http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2009-03/07/content_10963642.htm
http://www.sofmag.com/wp/2009/03/05/china-opposes-icc-warrant-for-sudans-president/
http://www.blackcommentator.com/224/224_genocide_olympics_wright_guest_pf.html
http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/Africa/New_Scramble_Africa.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Africa_Command
https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/su.html

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Iraqi Resistance to the Obama Administration

The following is reportedly a communique from the Iraqi resistance group, Rafidan, identified elsewhere on the internet as the Mujahideen Central Command. In the interest of giving a voice to those fighting the U.S. military on the ground, we are reposting it here. While leaving the political content intact, we edited out portions for the sake of brevity and corrected obvious grammatical mistranslations. Though the statement does contain some false political notions, it is lightyears ahead of the Amerikan ‘left.’ Thus, we are republishing it here, without further comment, allowing others may make their own judgment.

“…
You have spoken to our people in part of your speech, and we thank you for these words, you have displayed a far better understanding our nation, than your predecessor, who preferred to dive deep into the oceans of illiteracy and ignorance. Despite the fact that you did not mention the Iraqi resistance in your speech, and chose to label us as terrorists along with those who arrived with your troops, we will set that aside for now, and mention a few facts for the record.

1- The people of Iraq whom you addressed, in all their sects colors and religions, refuse your occupation, and those who accept it, are those who benefit from it.
2- The Iraqis you addressed, as we truly hope, are not the ones who bathe in the riches of treason, behind your walls of the green zone; nor are they the likes of Ahmed Al Chalabi, whom your previous government conspired with […] from the dark alleys of 5 star hotels in the US and Europe prior to your occupation.
3- The Iraqi people you talked to, are those who never invited your occupation, and were trying their best to survive on what was possible, under the criminal sanctions that went on for 13 years only to be crowned with a foreign occupation, unmatched in criminal acts, in today’s modern world.

President Obama, the suffering that our people had to go through is beyond comprehension. And the endless crimes of your troops, as well as that of neighboring countries, cannot simply be undone or dismissed, nor can they be brushed under the carpet. Your troops still occupy the land and kill the innocent. That is why we can only address you as the president of an occupying nation.

The Iraqi People are disappointed in your plan. They expect your troops to leave our country in full and not in part. Our people seek a complete end of occupation and not the fulfillment of a strategic treaty that was rushed against the will of our people, in the last few days of your predecessor.

Our people, as well as the majority of people around the world, and in your country, want to see the last president [Bush] be presented to an international war crime tribunal for all the crimes he has committed in the name of your country, only to benefit those who brought him to power in the first place.

We have never invited your occupation, nor have we asked your country to steal our country’s resources to benefit your corporations and to those neighboring states which historically fall under your influence. We have never asked you for your precious blood or ours. To us, all blood is precious: even that of the your soldiers sent by your government to die not knowing what they were truly fighting for. This has to be addressed to the man who started this war, and is hiding now in Texas, while you try to undo his damage.

We the Iraqi People and their resistance demand the following:
1- The fulfillment of all the conditions presented to your government through the mediators you sent in 2006.
2- The hand over of all the traitors & collaborators in the green zone to the Iraqi people where they will be dealt with as any nation would do in cases of high treason.
3- The full & just compensation for our people for the losses they have suffered.
4- The halting of all compensations paid to those who fall under your umbrella in the region from the resources of our people.
5- The return of all land stolen from our country.
6- The departure of all foreign corporations mainly in the sectors of energy, communication, & infrastructure rebuilding, specifically those linked to Neocon interests. Our people are more than qualified to rebuild and operate our institutions.
7- The hand over of all mercenaries accused of killing innocent civilians mainly security contractors in Black Water and their CEO to be tried for murder.
8- All foreign advisors are to leave Iraq with your troops.
9- The dismantling of all militias equipped by your country and Iran together to shift the nature of battle towards the sectarian nature in order to allow your troops to concentrate on the major resistance activities in the central region of Iraq.
10- The halting of all support to the sectarian government elected in the orchestrated elections in the green zone.
11- The reduction of the influence of your Persian allies in Iraq which your previous government worked with in close conjunction and who continue to fund Al Qaeda on behalf of  your intelligence agency’s behalf.
12- The return to the old constitution of a unified Iraq. And the Upholding of new elections within 6 months of the resistance taking power of the nation. This will be supervised, but must be conducted in the presence of a number of credible international monitors. Not the ones sponsored by the CIA.
13- Cities and provinces are to be handed over one by one starting with the four main cities and airports of  Baghdad, Basra, then Mosul and Kirkuk in the same order. The rest will fall immediately in our hands. The borders will have other arrangements.

The list goes on, but the intention is to give you an idea of what we pledged our people to achieve. In return for our people’s demands, we will cease to attack all occupation forces withdrawing to the south and beyond the border post of Safwan.

Without these straightforward moves on your part, we regret to inform you that the resistance of the people of Iraq will continue until that last boot of US/British/Persian occupation is thrown across the borders of our country.

There are those who will claim, that a quick  withdrawal from Iraq will cause civil war, and that is a possibility. But we would also like to clarify that the forces of the puppet government which has been equipped to defeat the resistance will not stand ground, nor will they block our efforts to liberate our cities one by one if we have to. And all the efforts of your collaborators to move to the north and south of the country and create their own federal states have been studied well for their weaknesses and will be crushed within a short period. This is a more realistic scenario. True there will be still the Persian occupation which will offer it’s militias support, but we know that the US cannot leave the oil rich south to be occupied by Iran, and they would rather see it fall in our hands instead. As it would be giving too much to a close yet not so trust worthy ally, and would deprive your military necessary funds that would support long-term military presence necessary in Iraq and throughout the region. Funds that some in your government think they can still rely on. Funds that your economy can no longer bear in the midst of the turmoil in the globalized economy of your nation, to control the world.

The Iraqi resistance understands well that the US could not continue to sell oil at a high price of 120 USD/barrel to cover the costs of it’s war, as this strengthens old adversaries. And it would be only a matter of time before this tactic backfires on the US foreign policy. But it also understands that the US cannot fund foreign occupation any more without depending on local resources and revenues to cover the expenses. This is the true cause of the change of “strategy” as you named it President Obama.

With oil prices falling to their true realistic market values, & the winter ending in the consuming economies, the oil prices should fall to 30 USD plus mark, which is also effecting the local economies of your allies in the region, as anything below 55 USD per barrel, is already becoming a burden on these economies, which in turn can no longer assist to their full potential in funding and supporting the costs of US aggression in the region.

The declining of oil revenues, which we truly thank you for mentioning in your speech, will make it more difficult to fund your military’s operations in Iraq, and that is why the numbers of your troops is to be reduced. To match the income predicted from the oil projects sponsored by your corporations in the south and the oil theft operations run by your agent, Hamid Jaffar in the north of Iraq in collaboration with NGO oil of Norway, is what your strategists think is possible.

Yes President Obama, we do agree with you, that the US needs a smarter, more sustainable & comprehensive approach, but rest assured, that what your predecessor has failed to achieve with all the military might at his disposal, we will make sure that you will fail to achieve the same goals through the soft hand of the Democratic party.

In fact, it is more logical and practical to follow the alternative energy programs that you have set wisely, to ensure the non reliance of your economy on oil as well as the utilization of  advancements and added fruits of R&D to employ the unemployed, and support a new and young market for the shift in energy dependence, and in turn end the monopolization of energy, practiced by the corporations that control it and control world political and social stability, than to merely dream of  expecting the Iraqi People to hand you over their resources.
We on the other hand intend to nationalize and use our resources to build an alternative energy base our selves and offer our people a life of prosperity, & stability, as well as supporting the energy transition of other nations that are oil dependant, a task we truly believe is noble and worthwhile.

The Iraqi Resistance will not accept any short term or long term energy contracts with the US until we ensure that the rights of our people are properly addressed. And within the parameters of relations based on mutual respect first and mutual interests second.

President Obama, It is time that people in Washington understand that there are no shared interest between an occupying tyrant and an oppressed victim of occupation.

Your government would have stayed forever in Iraq if the traitors who conspired with your consecutive administrations had their way in starving the Iraqi people into submission and force them to welcome your occupying troops with flowers as Chalabi promised you. But after three wars and over a decade of sanctions, there were enough honest men to defeat the world’s most powerful army & play a major role in destroying the most imperialistic globalized economy ever developed by expansionary capitalism.

These are the type of people you are speaking to Mr. Obama. And if you were not presented with this reality throughout the briefings that occurred, and understood the true scale of the economic disaster with all the social and geopolitical  implications of your military defeat in Iraq, then please allow us to mention a few of the major achievements that the Iraqi Resistance have promised its people and the free people of the world and has delivered:

1- We promised to pin down your troops in Iraq and drain your economy until you admit defeat and withdraw your troops. And this we fulfilled.
2- We promised to halt the US plan for Middle East in full, and prevent the loss of other innocent lives in other neighboring countries, and that we fulfilled.
3- We embraced the war and continue the fight on behalf of all the oppressed world, which not only stood still and watched the massacre of our people and the illegal occupation of our nation, but many of its leaders participated and continue in harming our people inside and outside Iraq and assist in the theft of our resources. This, apart from the support of honest people all around the world,
4- Including citizens of your country, who marched day and night to support the cause of Iraq’s right to resist, marches that defied the weather, and weathered criminal defiance and ignorance of world politicians. Marches that we will ever be indebt to, and in gratitude & in appreciation for. May god bless those people wherever they are.  And this we fulfilled and continue to do so.
5- We have understood the nature of international balances of power and most importantly predicted the primitive mind of the occupation and played a major role in forcing the US to increase oil prices in clear desperation for cash. And use that to allow other powers to recover. And the numbers never lied, this we also fulfilled.
6- The Iraqi People wrote a new chapter in Urban warfare, and invented the art of remote combat, and in turn gave the world lessons and set a new standard in how to defeat the world’s most powerful army. In this, the most dangerous achievement that threatens US global influence is that all the oppressed people who suffer from negative US influence, can use this experience to free themselves as well. This also has been delivered.
7-  The Resistance has already drafted its 2, 5 and 10 year plan to engage Iraq in rebuilding programs that will set a new standard for development in the region and restore Iraq to its rightfully earned place in world politics and positive human development. This while maintaining Iraq’s isolation from harmful neighboring countries at the same time, these plans was prepared and drafted in the early months of 2007 and are ready to implement once we see the end of your occupation.
8-  The resistance created a new battle field and utilized every tool available to break free of the corporate media and tell, inform, and educate the world of the true nature of the struggle, and present every curious man and woman daily reports and videos of your military’s defeat and in every language possible. People from all over the world, chose out of their own free will and time, people of different religions and backgrounds chose to be soldiers of the cyber wars and translated all what we had to tell, asking nothing in return but the truth. The true casualties of your war are yet to be declared. (We refer to the green card soldiers)
9-  The resistance has sparked not only the collapse of the US economy, but also caused the domino effect and the destruction of your fine tuned and delicate globalized economy, and forced the return to national economic protection, and the rights of local and regional economies to grow and ensure a decent life and practice their right to develop as well.  All your efforts to restore the globalized economy  will deliver nothing of value, and puppet governments that maintain your oversight of world resources will eventually fall, one after the other, as their faults will be more evident to their average citizens. That is why you are now receiving daily reports from the CIA about the world economy.

All the above, and you still choose to ignore the resistance of the Iraqi people and the resistance of the global alliance of the free, which we intend to propose to the world as the next stage of the freeing of the planet from your dominance when the time is right!

All this said, and the global media which you still maintain control over still labels free people as terrorists and equates the resistance of occupation with criminal acts of striking civilians in building and terrorizing the lives of the innocent!

Truly ironic! Nevertheless representative of the true state of shock your policy makers have reached. But all can be reversed if you truly believe in change Mr. President.

The resistance along with the votes of the peace loving people in your country and choice of the world who brought you to power, are more than capable to pull you down and defeat your new strategy, if you choose to lie to them and follow the plans of your predecessor.

You must understand that the time when your foreign policy bullied and bribed people into submission is over and for a considerable time. And your politicians and strategists have to understand that to be accepted as a superpower you must first learn to speak to the world with modesty and respect that others in this planet, also have the right to provide for their families a decent life, the right to food and water, the right to education and knowledge, the right to industry and employment, and free from your corporate despotism.

We in the Iraqi resistance, renew our pledge to our people and to our brothers and sisters in the global family to continue the fight and struggle to free Iraq- and give our allies the chance to follow suite.

While you were preparing your new strategy in leaving the streets and highways of Iraq to your collaborators, and hiding your troops behind the walls of the castles and green zones you’ve prepared for your minimized long term presence, we’ve been preparing to address your new tactics and will deal with them in the proper manner.

Remember; hiding behind and holding castles is no longer sustainable in modern warfare!

Your finest fighting force as you name it, is up against the most witty, resilient & innovative self-propelled resistance honorable humanity has ever presented. Rest assured that we are not impressed with your plan and will follow your movements on the ground and cross examine them to your declared intentions and daily economic reports. There is no such thing as friendly occupation, and we advise you to revise your plans to vacate Iraq at a time suitable for our people and not suitable for your agents in the green zone.
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