Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Fight for the Future

In this 1999 article from the Missoula Independent, Leonard Zeskind and the late Bill Wassmuth spoke of the need for human rights activists to coalesce in the fight for the future of human rights in the impending turmoil caused by globalization. Looking back, their comments about the threat posed by bigotry, as the world confronts scarcity, seem almost prophetic. As Wassmuth invoked, it only takes a few to do serious harm, or good; working together we might be able to limit the former.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

GOP and the Klan

Bigotry justified by ignorance isn't limited to the Republican Party, but for American Indian women, biblical based racism foundational to the GOP is lethal. As Ryan Dreveskracht explains, the apartheid mindset that plagues American politics via the Republican Party exposes Indian women on reservations to preventable violence by whites. By forbidding tribal police from arresting white perpetrators of murder and rape on reservations, the GOP is encouraging vigilante vengeance, ironically something the Republican forebears in organizations like the Klan had a lot of experience at.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

A Colossal Fraud

As documented by Jerry Sanders in his book Peddlers of Crisis, Cold War hawks in Washington made their bones by producing and disseminating misperceptions about the Russian threat, that in turn justified the inordinate military buildup by the US and NATO. In essence, says Sanders, the national security military industrial complex, while perhaps warranted at some level, was nevertheless a colossal fraud concocted by Washington insiders at Langley and the Pentagon.

Deliberately falsified information and wildly exaggerated threats were, in fact, used to enable not only the looting of the US Treasury to meet these false threats, but also to promote some notorious characters into the halls of power. People like Henry Kissinger, Dick Cheney and Richard Armitage.

Today, through agencies like National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and USAID, lessons in psychological warfare learned by Cold War hawks and private sector friends like George Soros are still being applied in the interest of US hegemony, albeit in more creative ways. As noted in this article about NED-funded political opposition groups in Russia, the exaggerations, while containing an element of truth, are leveraged to perpetuate popular myths that can be capitalized on by US interests.

With a perfunctory nod to prior creative operators at the National Security Agency (NSA), I have to admit that the Pussy Riot affair must rank right up there. While Cartalucci acknowledges a lack of direct connection, the witness list of the pussy defense is loaded with NED funding.

As illustrated by this article at Wrong Kind of Green, arguing against Russian gangster capitalism, while important, is best left to authentic journalists and human rights activists, not US State Department proteges, Ford or Soros funded puppets. Monitoring Russian elections for fraud is one thing, disturbing the peace and distorting reports in order to destabilize Russian society is best left to the CIA. As seen in the Balkans, the Caucasus and Central Asia, innocent people get hurt.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Taking on the Tea Party

Speaking at the annual Western States Center gathering in Portland, Oregon, Institute for Research and Education on Human Rights vice president Devin Burghart explained how the Tea Party is the most threatening movement of white nationalism in the US.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Spectacle as Revolution

Back in October, Michel Chossudovsky asked the question about #Occupy: Is it a colored revolution? As we approach the one-year anniversary on September 17, I think the answer to that question is, not yet.

If CIA operations around the world are anything to gauge by, though, we should expect a co-opting of the #Occupy sentiments by the dirty tricks squad somewhere in the basement of the National Security Agency. Maybe surfacing in the form of Soros Open Society fellowship recipients emerging as #Occupy leaders counseling moderation in contrast to FBI agent provocateurs.

How the spectacle ultimately plays out is anybody's guess.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Mobilizing Resentment

In the early 1990s, national Anti-Indian organizations joined the Washington Association of Realtors and the Building Industry Association in Washington state to create property rights groups with sufficient funding and organizational support to defeat implementation of Growth Management environmental protection by altering the political climate. Key to that Wise Use Movement task was the recruitment of paramilitary white supremacists willing to threaten tribal and environmental activists, thus generating widespread fear among communities in fourteen counties statewide.

Four years into their campaign to mobilize resentment, eight white supremacist Christian-Patriot militia members were sentenced to federal prison for violations of explosives and firearms statutes, in which they planned to murder their political opponents. I later wrote an eyewitness account of this turmoil.

Today, in the Klamath River Basin of Northern California and Southern Oregon, tribes and environmentalists are threatened from a mobilization of resentment by the agricultural industry, with assistance from national Anti-Indian organizations. As Charles Tanner Jr. reports at the Institute for Research and Education on Human Rights, the nascent hate campaign is receiving active support from the Tea Parties.

Whether this confluence of white nationalism with industrial power will be able to derail restoration of the Klamath River is hard to tell at this point in time. What is certain, though, is that the reshaping of the political landscape there -- as in Washington state twenty years ago -- by white supremacists with industry backing, is unlikely to be one conducive to either conservation or cooperation.

*Additional information about the Wise Use Movement and its Anti-Indian component is available on the Public Good Project website, most notably Wise Use in Northern Puget Sound, as well as in the Center for World Indigenous Studies DayKeeper Press.

Wikipedia pages on the Militia Movement and the Christian Patriot Movement contain a number of helpful references. News articles about the connection between industry-financed property rights field agents and the militias ran in the Portland Oregonian in 1996, and in the Anacortes American in 1997. Neither are available online.

Steal this State by Paul de Armond and Jim Halpin, an article about Wise Use and county secession, ran in the August 17, 1994 issue of Eastsideweek; Merchant of Fear, an expose by de Armond and Halpin of Wise Use fundraiser Alan Gottlieb, ran in the October 26, 1994 issue of Eastsideweek, a defunct Seattle area publication. Angry White Guys with Guns: the Rise of the Citizen Militias, by Daniel Junas, ran in the Spring 1995 issue of Covert Action Quarterly. All three articles are transcribed on the Public Good site.The July 1996 FBI arrest of Washington State Militia/Freemen and the subsequent trial was covered in the Seattle Times, as well as in the Bellingham Herald by crime reporter Cathy Logg. The Herald stories are not archived online, but the transcript of the federal indictment of the Christian Patriots is available at Public Good.

Coalition for Human Dignity compiled a thorough documentation of the Christian-Patriot militias, but their online archive disappeared after they disbanded as an organization. Western States Center also compiled reports on Wise Use violence, but these apparently have not been digitally maintained. Northwest Coalition Against Malicious Harassment played a key role in education and organizing in the Pacific Northwest, but disbanded at the end of the 1990s. For scholars, Political Research Associates has compiled a useful bibliography for Studying the US Political Right.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Normal Behavior

How did we become a society where police slamming kids against the pavement and kicking them in the face is considered normal behavior?

As Nicholas Mirzoeff notes, this is a question now being pondered in New York -- birthplace of Occupy Wall Street -- where free assembly and free speech are still being challenged by police batons and pepper spray. While hardly a new phenomenon when citizens rise up against tyranny, excessive force and police brutality since the 1999 Battle in Seattle has taken on a new function; not just to protect the interests of the rich and powerful, but to prevent the rest of us from even talking about it.