Monday, January 31, 2011

Assange on CBS

Julian Assange does 60 Minutes.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Obama's Moral Cowardice

Moral cowardice is nothing new for President Obama, it defines who he is. In providing amnesty for right-wing purveyors of bigotry, Obama followed in the anti-intellectual footsteps of his philosophical mentor Ronald Reagan. Speaking on the Tucson massacre, President Obama, Attorney General Holder, and Homeland Security Director Napolitano provided religious bromides, but no hope for change.

As noted by Patrick Martin, this cover-up of the social context by the top officials in public security and law enforcement amounted to a calculated detour to avoid their constitutional duties, as well as deter public discussion about what is happening in America.

Bamababies like to think of their hero as a reincarnated FDR, but rather than face down fascism, Obama -- along with his cabinet -- is doing everything he can to placate fascism, and has done so since the inception of his administration. As FOX News and Christian Identity websites host advocates of murder day in and day out, without interference from federal regulatory or law enforcement agencies, Americans find they are on their own in battling the Christian Patriots unleashed on the targets these purveyors provide. That is the price of Obama's moral cowardice.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Collective Punishment

The Goldstone Report, an abridged copy of the UN report on the 2008-2009 attack on Gaza by the State of Israel, is now available in book form. Edited by Adam Horowitz, Lizzy Ratner and Phillip Weiss -- with a foreword by Desmond Tutu -- the documentation of collective punishment against Palestine also serves as a primer on war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Saturday, January 08, 2011

Patriots 6 Traitors 0

Frederick Clarkson reminds us that when Christian Patriot friends of Sarah Palin do things like murder federal judges or attempt to assassinate members of Congress, there's a reason. Part of that is brain damage, but the catalyst for Constitution Party members and other vigilantes is demonizing by right-wing demagogues, especially Christian Reconstructionist preachers.

As Chip Berlet observes, there's also a history.

A while back, Paul de Armond -- helping to put the far right into perspective -- examined the logic of Christian Patriot incoherence, and took a close look at the mostly Christian anti-democratic movement in America.

Researcher Devin Burghart notes the response to the shooting by Tea Party and Minutemen militia leaders is that they have no intent of toning down their violent rhetoric. Rather, they are calling for vigilantes across the country to go on the attack.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Fighting for Freedom

In what might be termed a classic neoliberal response to the peaceful quest for freedom by indigenous peoples, the government of Chile recently attacked the Rapanui parliament, clubbing women and children in the process. For Chile, which is facing the reality of indigenous autonomy in the form of resistance to neocolonial development on property belonging to indigenous nations like Mapuche and Rapanui, getting unstuck from the conquistador model is proving troublesome. Rather than face up to the moral challenge of respectful reconciliation in a forthright manner, Chile has chosen to follow the US lead in declaring any move by indigenous governments toward full autonomy or independence as terrorism. In the case of the Rapanui, who are non-violent, Chile has had to result to guilt by association, claiming (without any evidence) that they are in contact with ETA, the Basque liberation army.

As the liberation of indigenous peoples proceeds apace with neoliberal assaults on their dignity and integrity, friends and allies of indigenous freedom need to attack the notion that by fighting for their freedom indigenous nations pose a threat to economic stability or world peace. In fact, the reverse is true; when states like China, Israel and the US stop denying indigenous peoples their human rights, then peace can prevail.

But the friends and allies of the World Indigenous Peoples’ Movement must also recognize the right of indigenous nations to defend themselves and their territories against neoliberal states and corporations. While we’d all prefer that fight take place in peaceful proceedings, the fact remains that violent police, vigilante and military assaults by states sometimes force indigenous societies to resort to arms. As the leading proponent and perpetrator of armed aggression, as well as the least sincere in its endorsement of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the United States has long ceased to be a beacon of freedom; its failed attempt to mount a coup against the indigenous head of state in Bolivia should serve as a warning to indigenous freedom fighters worldwide.