The earthquake that has devastated Haiti has been on my mind, and I have been thinking about the inherent problems and inequities (and iniquities) of our exploitative fossil fuel dependent society. The people of Haiti are victims. But many news sources won't provide the full story, which would detail a long past of colonialism, interference, and exploitation by European and European-Americans. Since OlyBlog exists in part to challenge the status quo of our corporate dominated mainstream news media - I think that this important story, at this time, deserves to be shared.
S. Brian Willson alerted me to this Robert Parry story about Haiti on Consortium News: Haiti and America's Historic Debt, By Robert Parry, January 13, 2010
Willson then supplemented the Robert Parry article with some of his own writing (on Facebook,) which I have permission to re-post here. For more information and writings from Brian Willson please visit S. Brian Willson. Citations for the information contained in the following passage are also available:
U.S. air power in Haiti in 1919 witnessed the 1st known use of U.S. aerial bombings of civilians & the utilization of aircraft in close air-support of ground combat troops.
U.S. warships were sent into Haitian harbors at least 24 times between 1849 & 1913 to "protect American lives & property," landing Marines on at least 3 of those occasions (1888, 1891, 1914).
Who would Jesus bomb?
Christmas Day, 2009
Olympia Fellowship of Reconciliation Peace Vigil
Percival Landing, Olympia, Washington
War is immoral. All war begins with aggression. Aggression is immoral. Military aggression is widely considered immoral, and there are numerous international legally binding treaties established against war of aggression. It is probably unanimous amongst international political bodies that aggression is immoral and illegal. How could it not be? If stealing is illegal, if rape is illegal, if murder is illegal - then how could the most horrendous violence possible - the violence of a war of aggression - ever be considered legal.
The following photo is from the Port of Tacoma, March 2007. There was a PMR protest against deployment of weapons via the Port. I think the photo is a good one, and really speaks to a conversation that has been going here on about what it means to, and how to, support military personnel.
Does it make sense to support military personnel by sending them to fight and serve (what many believe are) immoral and illegal wars of aggression? Or does it make the most sense - that the best way to support military personnel is - instead, to challenge a system that says (among other things) that it is 1) okay to take without asking, and 2) that violence can be used, with reason, as a solution against those who don't like what the USA is doing.
In that spirit, I want to ask: in the face of what many people, including myself, believe to be the ongoing immoral and illegal activities of the US (and US military): is silence complicity? Is to be silent to be complicit?
Please, do consider that question.
Oh, and Happy Holidays - Truly.
Please, join me in praying for peace. Against imperialism, against all wars.
In light of the contradiction between 1) the US Government and Obama Administration's ongoing pursuit of the violent policy of global dominance, and 2) President Obama's receiving of the Nobel Peace Prize, a protest was staged at The Olympian to highlight the important role media plays in enabling imperialism.
A deeply troubling story about birth defects in Iraq:
Call it Ecocide
by Robert C. Koehler
In the cradle of civilization, young women have become terrified about having children.
This is the news I take with me into Thanksgiving and the season of gratitude and family togetherness: that doctors in Fallujah, the Iraqi city we devastated in two military assaults in 2004, have begun documenting a startling rise in birth defects - about 15 times the pre-invasion occurrence of early-life cancers and brain and nervous-system abnormalities, according to the U.K.'s Guardian.
A group of British and Iraqi doctors have petitioned the United Nations to investigate the situation, which is clearly related to the U.S. invasion and occupation. According to their letter: "In September 2009, Fallujah General Hospital had 170 newborn babies, 24 percent of whom were dead within the first seven days (and) a staggering 75 percent of the dead babies were classified as deformed." In comparison, the letter said, in August 2002 - before the invasion - 530 babies were born; six of them died within the first week, with a single birth defect reported.
Young women in Fallujah, the doctors wrote, "are terrified of having children because of the increasing number of babies born grotesquely deformed, with no heads, two heads, a single eye in their foreheads, scaly bodies or missing limbs."
What might be causing this nightmare? ...read more to find out.
Do the mainstream accounts reflect the whole story? In the mainstream, is there adequate analysis of the environment surrounding the death of JFK? The answer is no.
Here's a compelling analysis by Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action co-founder James W. Douglass. It's titled JFK and the Unspeakable: Why He Died and Why it Matters. The book contains an account that has been all but ignored by the mainstream press. So I think it is important to promote this important book through alternative channels.
"...an extraordinary new book offers the best account I have read of this tragedy and its significance. That book is James Douglass's JFK and the Unspeakable: Why He Died and Why It Matters. It is a book that deserves the attention of all Americans; it is one of those rare books that, by helping us understand our history, has the power to change it.
[additional quoted material]: "Why does it matter? The death of JFK remains a critical turning point in our history. Those who caused his death were targeting not just a man but a vision -- a vision of peace. There is no calculating the consequences of his death for this country and for the world. Those consequences endure. To a large extent, the fate of our country and the future of the planet continue to be controlled by the shadowy forces of what Douglass calls "the Unspeakable." Only by unmasking these forces and confronting the truth about our history can we restore the promise of democracy and lay claim to Kennedy's vision of peace."
[Oliver Stone: JFK and the Unspeakable]
I spent a large part of the last couple days at the United States Courthouse in Tacoma. I was there to observe a trial over allegations of the use of excessive force brought by two protesters (Wes Hamilton and Larry Mosqueda) against certain members of the Olympia Police Department, as well as the City of Olympia.
It was an interesting experience, I am going to share a few observations and opinions. Closing arguments were made today. And I was struck by a few aspects of the trial. (Disclaimer: I am a biased observer. I am strongly opposed to the imperialism of the United States, and I also strongly believe that the imperialism of our nation is one of the most grievous and heinous harmful features of life in the world today. I could go on and on waxing eloquently, and perhaps ineloquently, about the multitudinous nefarious and sundry aspects of our modern day socio-political-economic system. This issue means a lot to me. I care a lot. I have a lot of passion, and I bear a lot of resistance to the harmful nature of this dirty rotten system in which we live. So that's my bias. I just want to be clear and upfront with you, dear reader.)
Here's the PMR press release from Thursday, August 13, 2009:
Anti-war group successful despite infiltration
Olympia, WA - Port Militarization Resistance (PMR) is a grassroots coalition of individuals who oppose the use of our ports in the service of imperialism and war. PMR works to block the military’s use of local ports through direct action campaigns, community education and outreach.