Provoking Nuclear War by Media
By John Pilger
August 23, 2016
“Information Clearing House” – “RT” – The exoneration of a man accused of the worst of crimes, genocide, made no headlines. Neither the BBC nor CNN covered it. The Guardian allowed a brief commentary. Such a rare official admission was buried or suppressed, understandably. It would explain too much about how the rulers of the world rule.
The International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) has quietly cleared the late Serbian president, Slobodan Milosevic, of war crimes committed during the 1992-95 Bosnian war, including the massacre at Srebrenica.
Far from conspiring with the convicted Bosnian-Serb leader Radovan Karadzic, Milosevic actually “condemned ethnic cleansing”, opposed Karadzic and tried to stop the war that dismembered Yugoslavia. Buried near the end of a 2,590-page judgement on Karadzic last February, this truth further demolishes the propaganda that justified Nato’s illegal onslaught on Serbia in 1999.
Milosevic died of a heart attack in 2006, alone in his cell in The Hague, during what amounted to a bogus trial by an American-invented “international tribunal”. Denied heart surgery that might have saved his life, his condition worsened and was monitored and kept secret by US officials, as WikiLeaks has since revealed.
Milosevic was the victim of war propaganda that today runs like a torrent across our screens and newspapers and beckons great danger for us all. He was the prototype demon, vilified by the western media as the “butcher of the Balkans” who was responsible for “genocide”, especially in the secessionist Yugoslav province of Kosovo. Prime Minister Tony Blair said so, invoked the Holocaust and demanded action against “this new Hitler”.
David Scheffer, the US ambassador-at-large for war crimes [sic], declared that as many as “225,000 ethnic Albanian men aged between 14 and 59” may have been murdered by Milocevic’s forces.
This was the justification for Nato’s bombing, led by Bill Clinton and Blair, that killed hundreds of civilians in hospitals, schools, churches, parks and television studios and destroyed Serbia’s economic infrastructure. It was blatantly ideological; at a notorious“peace conference” in Rambouillet in France, Milosevic was confronted by Madeleine Albright, the US secretary of state, who was to achieve infamy with her remark that the deaths of half a million Iraqi children were “worth it”.
Albright delivered an “offer” to Milosevic that no national leader could accept. Unless he agreed to the foreign military occupation of his country, with the occupying forces “outside the legal process”, and to the imposition of a neo-liberal “free market”, Serbia would be bombed. This was contained in an “Appendix B”, which the media failed to read or suppressed. The aim was to crush Europe’s last independent “socialist” state.
Once Nato began bombing, there was a stampede of Kosovar refugees “fleeing a holocaust”. When it was over, international police teams descended on Kosovo to exhume the victims. The FBI failed to find a single mass grave and went home. The Spanish forensic team did the same, its leader angrily denouncing “a semantic pirouette by the war propaganda machines”. The final count of the dead in Kosovo was 2,788. This included combatants on both sides and Serbs and Roma murdered by the pro-Nato Kosovo Liberation Front. There was no genocide. The Nato attack was both a fraud and a war crime.
All but a fraction of America’s vaunted “precision guided” missiles hit not military but civilian targets, including the news studios of Radio Television Serbia in Belgrade. Sixteen people were killed, including cameramen, producers and a make-up artist. Blair described the dead, profanely, as part of Serbia’s “command and control”.
In 2008, the prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, Carla Del Ponte, revealed that she had been pressured not to investigate Nato’s crimes.
This was the model for Washington’s subsequent invasions of Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and, by stealth, Syria. All qualify as“paramount crimes” under the Nuremberg standard; all depended on media propaganda. While tabloid journalism played its traditional part, it was serious, credible, often liberal journalism that was the most effective – the evangelical promotion of Blair and his wars by the Guardian, the incessant lies about Saddam Hussein’s non-existent weapons of mass destruction in the Observer and the New York Times, and the unerring drumbeat of government propaganda by the BBC in the silence of its omissions.
At the height of the bombing, the BBC’s Kirsty Wark interviewed General Wesley Clark, the Nato commander. The Serbian city of Nis had just been sprayed with American cluster bombs, killing women, old people and children in an open market and a hospital. Wark asked not a single question about this, or about any other civilian deaths.
Others were more brazen. In February 2003, the day after Blair and Bush had set fire to Iraq, the BBC’s political editor, Andrew Marr, stood in Downing Street and made what amounted to a victory speech. He excitedly told his viewers that Blair had “said they would be able to take Baghdad without a bloodbath, and that in the end the Iraqis would be celebrating. And on both of those points he has been proved conclusively right.” Today, with a million dead and a society in ruins, Marr’s BBC interviews are recommended by the US embassy in London.
Marr’s colleagues lined up to pronounce Blair “vindicated”. The BBC’s Washington correspondent, Matt Frei, said, “There’s no doubt that the desire to bring good, to bring American values to the rest of the world, and especially to the Middle East … is now increasingly tied up with military power.”
This obeisance to the United States and its collaborators as a benign force “bringing good” runs deep in western establishment journalism. It ensures that the present-day catastrophe in Syria is blamed exclusively on Bashar al-Assad, whom the West and Israel have long conspired to overthrow, not for any humanitarian concerns, but to consolidate Israel’s aggressive power in the region. The jihadist forces unleashed and armed by the US, Britain, France, Turkey and their “coalition” proxies serve this end. It is they who dispense the propaganda and videos that becomes news in the US and Europe, and provide access to journalists and guarantee a one-sided “coverage” of Syria.
The city of Aleppo is in the news. Most readers and viewers will be unaware that the majority of the population of Aleppo lives in the government-controlled western part of the city. That they suffer daily artillery bombardment from western-sponsored al-Qaida is not news. On 21 July, French and American bombers attacked a government village in Aleppo province, killing up to 125 civilians. This was reported on page 22 of the Guardian; there were no photographs.
Having created and underwritten jihadism in Afghanistan in the 1980s as Operation Cyclone – a weapon to destroy the Soviet Union – the US is doing something similar in Syria. Like the Afghan Mujahideen, the Syrian “rebels” are America’s and Britain’s foot soldiers. Many fight for al-Qaida and its variants; some, like the Nusra Front, have rebranded themselves to comply with American sensitivities over 9/11. The CIA runs them, with difficulty, as it runs jihadists all over the world.
The immediate aim is to destroy the government in Damascus, which, according to the most credible poll (YouGov Siraj), the majority of Syrians support, or at least look to for protection, regardless of the barbarism in its shadows. The long-term aim is to deny Russia a key Middle Eastern ally as part of a Nato war of attrition against the Russian Federation that eventually destroys it.
The nuclear risk is obvious, though suppressed by the media across “the free world”. The editorial writers of the Washington Post, having promoted the fiction of WMD in Iraq, demand that Obama attack Syria. Hillary Clinton, who publicly rejoiced at her executioner’s role during the destruction of Libya, has repeatedly indicated that, as president, she will “go further” than Obama.
Gareth Porter, a journalist reporting from Washington, recently revealed the names of those likely to make up a Clinton cabinet, who plan an attack on Syria. All have belligerent cold war histories; the former CIA director, Leon Panetta, says that “the next president is gonna have to consider adding additional special forces on the ground”.
What is most remarkable about the war propaganda now in flood tide is its patent absurdity and familiarity. I have been looking through archive film from Washington in the 1950s when diplomats, civil servants and journalists were witch-hunted and ruined by Senator Joe McCarthy for challenging the lies and paranoia about the Soviet Union and China. Like a resurgent tumor, the anti-Russia cult has returned.
In Britain, the Guardian’s Luke Harding leads his newspaper’s Russia-haters in a stream of journalistic parodies that assign to Vladimir Putin every earthly iniquity. When the Panama Papers leak was published, the front page said Putin, and there was a picture of Putin; never mind that Putin was not mentioned anywhere in the leaks.
Like Milosevic, Putin is Demon Number One. It was Putin who shot down a Malaysian airliner over Ukraine. Headline: “As far as I’m concerned, Putin killed my son.” No evidence required. It was Putin who was responsible for Washington’s documented (and paid for) overthrow of the elected government in Kiev in 2014. The subsequent terror campaign by fascist militias against the Russian-speaking population of Ukraine was the result of Putin’s “aggression”. Preventing Crimea from becoming a Nato missile base and protecting the mostly Russian population who had voted in a referendum to rejoin Russia – from which Crimea had been annexed – were more examples of Putin’s “aggression”. Smear by media inevitably becomes war by media. If war with Russia breaks out, by design or by accident, journalists will bear much of the responsibility.
In the US, the anti-Russia campaign has been elevated to virtual reality. The New York Times columnist Paul Krugman, an economist with a Nobel Prize, has called Donald Trump the “Siberian Candidate” because Trump is Putin’s man, he says. Trump had dared to suggest, in a rare lucid moment, that war with Russia might be a bad idea. In fact, he has gone further and removed American arms shipments to Ukraine from the Republican platform. “Wouldn’t it be great if we got along with Russia,” he said.
This is why America’s warmongering liberal establishment hates him. Trump’s racism and ranting demagoguery have nothing to do with it. Bill and Hillary Clinton’s record of racism and extremism can out-trump Trump’s any day. (This week is the 20th anniversary of the Clinton welfare “reform” that launched a war on African-Americans). As for Obama: while American police gun down his fellow African-Americans the great hope in the White House has done nothing to protect them, nothing to relieve their impoverishment, while running four rapacious wars and an assassination campaign without precedent.
The CIA has demanded Trump is not elected. Pentagon generals have demanded he is not elected. The pro-war New York Times – taking a breather from its relentless low-rent Putin smears – demands that he is not elected. Something is up. These tribunes of“perpetual war” are terrified that the multi-billion-dollar business of war by which the United States maintains its dominance will be undermined if Trump does a deal with Putin, then with China’s Xi Jinping. Their panic at the possibility of the world’s great power talking peace – however unlikely – would be the blackest farce were the issues not so dire.
“Trump would have loved Stalin!” bellowed Vice-President Joe Biden at a rally for Hillary Clinton. With Clinton nodding, he shouted, “We never bow. We never bend. We never kneel. We never yield. We own the finish line. That’s who we are. We are America!”
In Britain, Jeremy Corbyn has also excited hysteria from the war-makers in the Labour Party and from a media devoted to trashing him. Lord West, a former admiral and Labour minister, put it well. Corbyn was taking an “outrageous” anti-war position “because it gets the unthinking masses to vote for him”.
In a debate with leadership challenger Owen Smith, Corbyn was asked by the moderator: “How would you act on a violation by Vladimir Putin of a fellow Nato state?”
— Quintus Curtius (@QuintusCurtius) August 17, 2016Corbyn replied: “You would want to avoid that happening in the first place. You would build up a good dialogue with Russia … We would try to introduce a de-militarisation of the borders between Russia, the Ukraine and the other countries on the border between Russia and Eastern Europe. What we cannot allow is a series of calamitous build-ups of troops on both sides which can only lead to great danger.”
Pressed to say if he would authorize war against Russia “if you had to”, Corbyn replied: “I don’t wish to go to war – what I want to do is achieve a world that we don’t need to go to war.”
The line of questioning owes much to the rise of Britain’s liberal war-makers. The Labour Party and the media have long offered them career opportunities. For a while the moral tsunami of the great crime of Iraq left them floundering, their inversions of the truth a temporary embarrassment. Regardless of Chilcot and the mountain of incriminating facts, Blair remains their inspiration, because he was a “winner”.
Dissenting journalism and scholarship have since been systematically banished or appropriated, and democratic ideas emptied and refilled with “identity politics” that confuse gender with feminism and public angst with liberation and willfully ignore the state violence and weapons profiteering that destroys countless lives in faraway places, like Yemen and Syria, and beckon nuclear war in Europe and across the world.
The stirring of people of all ages around the spectacular rise of Jeremy Corbyn counters this to some extent. His life has been spent illuminating the horror of war. The problem for Corbyn and his supporters is the Labour Party. In America, the problem for the thousands of followers of Bernie Sanders was the Democratic Party, not to mention their ultimate betrayal by their great white hope.
In the US, home of the great civil rights and anti-war movements, it is Black Lives Matter and the likes of Codepink that lay the roots of a modern version.
For only a movement that swells into every street and across borders and does not give up can stop the warmongers. Next year, it will be a century since Wilfred Owen wrote the following. Every journalist should read it and remember it.
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old lie: Dulce et decorum est
Pro patria mori.
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Subj: Redoing the NY Primary could help Bernie win the White House!
When this is heard in Federal Court, the first wave of press and media coverage will cause a tsunami of backlash that will cause those Super Delegates already “pledged” (in other words, “bought”) to turn and run for their own political survival, like rats off a sinking ship, or, as an Australian Barrister recently told me, “when they see that the wheels are one by one falling off her wagon.”
We don’t just mean existing scandals, and those troublesome emails hacked by Russia, China, and Iran (as corroborated by former Defense Secretary under two Presidents, Robert M. Gates, now President of the Boy Scouts), added to the newest polls that show Sanders clobbering Trump better than his opponent, plus whatever brand new legal baggage comes down the pike, all of which are peripheral to our concerns and priorities in this petition drive, although those factors are in the background.
Here it is, plain and simple: as a matter of non-partisan quest for Justice, the purging of 200,000 requires a new primary, and the first steps taken by legal officials and courts toward that new primary will prove very beneficial to Bernie Sanders. I never intended for this petition to become a strategy related to the rotten corrupted superdelegate mess, yet clearly, it has the potential impact of changing the allegiance of many superdelegates.
Think about the obvious: somebody paid for and/or forced the purging of 200,000 New York voters. That will eventually be unraveled, I hope in the court decisions this petition is precipitating, and punishing the patsies and fall guys is irrelevant.
Almost all of the New York based media would apparently like to sweep all of this under some rug in the 21st Century Tammany Hall. The rest of the nation’s editors are either indifferent, uninformed, skeptical, or actively colluding with the news blackout, as if hijacking an election is perfectly acceptable.
Some editors told me that “Hillary has it all wrapped up, and all else is futile.” One very important one in New York asked me what legal standing a Santa Fean has to start a lawsuit in New York. I replied that all the legal standing I needed was provided and encouraged by the last sentence in the 1791 First Amendment about the “right to petition for a redress of grievances,” and that, yes, indeed, the New York Attorney General did have that legal standing in New York, and that by statute, he would have to be impartial and respond to the petition.
I asked Mr. Schneiderman to render whatever his decision will be early this coming week. If Mr. Schneiderman declines, we will then have to immediately shift the request to the White House and the Department of Justice, as well as to Bernie’s lawyer, Brad Deutsch. The bottom line is in truth that the NY primary was fatally flawed the moment those purges occurred not just in Brooklyn and the Bronx but all over New York, according to comments to the NY AG by the petition signers.
For a Redone NY Primary, please make these five telephone calls at your very earliest convenience (if you haven’t already), and then follow up on your calls early next week, to these 5 most central decision makers who will move this forward into Federal Court. Then just one more call: to the nearest Associated Press Bureau Chief to tip them to this huge scoop, a journalist’s dream, with an article coming from them making the same five calls. Associated Press isn’t at all affected by corporate pressures and advertisers; they are not a part of the sluggish and indifferent Mainstream Media, who have become so obsolete compared to Facebook and other social media. However, our efforts depend on traditional news articles like a newborn child needs the first breath!
This effort of ours will in due course directly influence every single super delegate, and could soon result in a complete about-face even by the Mainstream Media. Here, again, is the list for the 5 most urgent calls:
1. Attorney General Schneiderman’s Press offices in NYC: 212 416 8060 and in Albany: 518 776 2427 [I was able to leave a voice mail for his Civil Rights Bureau Director, Lourdes Rosado, by asking for that when I called the Albany Press office. The petition thus far is in her care]
2. Bernie’s Campaign Lawyer is Brad Deutsch (202) 298-1793 direct to his office. Brad’s secretary’s name is Yvette.
3. Campaign Manager Jeff Weaver and Campaign Secretary Symone Sanders,go through the Vermont Campaign Headquarters, at 802-862-1505
4. Robert Reich, Bernie’s, most effective supporter, can be called at UC Berkeley at 510 642-0560 and speak with or leave a message for his assistant , Rebecca Boles. Please ask him, as I have asked, to write about this goal of a new clean New York Primary. I am certain that Reich’s support for this is crucial.
5. Bernie’s Campaign Advisor is Tad Devine in Washington D.C.: 202 337 9600.
High level grass roots effort? Absolutely. The 2nd New York primary has to happen for Bernie to win, even if it AFTER the Primary Convention in July. For editorial clarification, this petition is not asking for a recount, an investigation, an audit, or any other remedies other than an entirely new redone clean primary, no matter how long it takes.
America waited for the Bush I appointees on the U.S. Supreme Court to give the hanging chads and the White House to Bush II. We will gladly wait again till New York has an honest primary, and not the hijacked heist with the “fix-is-in” that was forced on New York a few weeks ago.
Pre-President Bernie Sanders primary victory depends on your making those 5 phone calls in the next 48 hours.
Very Truly, Stephen Fox
Founder, Facebook Group, Bernie Sanders: Advice and Strategies
Santa Fe, New Mexico
We will continue to publish the best of the new comments on the petition, particularly those from New Yorkers, and in conclusion, we are glad to thank two principled billionaires who have made our progress possible: George Soros, who started moveon.org, and Mark Zuckerberg, the principle founder of Facebook, whose impact have both immeasurably helped advance our cause, to insure the victory of Bernie Sanders.
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SF Police Department is a total godawful mess, panel concludes
Blue-Ribbon group finds disaster everywhere, putting more pressure on embattled Chief Suhr
BY TIM REDMOND –
May 9, 2016
The district attorney’s special task force investigating the San Francisco Police Department issued a devastating preliminary report tonight suggesting that pretty much everything in the department is a mess.
It’s yet another indictment of the leadership of Chief Greg Suhr, and will add to the calls that he step down or be fired.
The three distinguished judges who run the independent panel are Dickran Tevrizian, LaDoris Hazzard Cordell, and Cruz Reynoso
The Examiner had the preliminary information this morning, but the actual presentation was even more dramatic. A series of lawyers, mostly from big local firms, who worked pro bono to research the department, presented reports that showed an agency riddled by outdated policies, ineffective procedures, an utter lack of transparency, and patronage and nepotism.
Overall, the report shows, the department allows rogue officers to operate with impunity and there’s a profound lack of accountability at all levels.
Oh, and as Raymond Marshall, an attorney with Sheppard Mullin, noted, “we find that the SFPD is, in fact, influenced by the [Police Officers Association] and the POA’s influence has been an impediment to open dialogue and sustained reforms.”
The panel, run by three distinguished judges, including LaDoris Hazzard Cordell, Dickran Tevrizian, and Cruz Reynoso, who was one of the best justices of the California Supreme Court ever in history, was convened by Gascon, a former SF police chief, but operated independently.
One of its major recommendations: An independent agency needs to audit the Police Department – and there’s nobody to do that right now. The Police Commission lacks the staff (and frankly, the political will). The Controller’s Office hasn’t done performance audits, and lacks the expertise. The Office of Citizen Complaints responds to incidents only when someone files a complaint, and has only one policy person on staff.
That’s a really good argument for creating an Office of the Public Advocate, something Sup. David Campos is proposing. The city could move the OCC under that office, and the public advocate could handle the audit function.
Among the other preliminary findings:
The SFPD has fine policies around racial disparities in policing, but those rules aren’t getting followed. At best, Danielle Coleman, a lawyer with Morrison and Foerster, noted, “officer compliance with data collection is incomplete.”
African American and Hispanic people are far more likely than whites or Asians to be searched after traffic stops, she said – although there are far fewer instances when those searches lead to the discovery of anything illegal.
Rachel Davidson, who works with Sidley Austin, reported that the hiring and promotion process is a disaster – there are no clear rules, there is no transparency and no published criteria.
“There is real potential that qualified candidates are passed over,” she said.
More: “The disciplinary system is a bit of a mystery. Candidates with disciplinary records for bias can advance through the promotion process.”
The background investigation process for new hires is “a black box,” she said. As many as 75 percent of the background investigators are former SFPD officers, and it’s not clear what rules they use for screening candidates.
There is, she said, “actual and perceived nepotism” in the department. No surprise there; it’s an open secret. But the panel made clear that it’s an issue that must be addressed.
Michelle Park Chiu, of the office of Morgan Lewis, noted that the SFPD Use of Force policies haven’t been updated since 1995. The department, she said, “does not collect enough data to see if the use of force disproportionately impacts minority populations.
When it comes to discipline and accountability – in my mind the most important issue in the department – the report was exceptionally critical. Nicholas Graham, an attorney with Munger Tolles, noted that there’s a radical lack of transparency in discipline – the public basically has no idea whether officers are ever held accountable at all – and noted:
“The discipline imposed by the chief of police is almost always mild, mostly just admonishment. There has not be one sustained complaint sent to the Police Commission (which can impose discipline of more than 10 days’ suspension) since 2012.”
In that period, there have been more than 2,000 complaints.
The Office of Citizen Complaints, he noted, “has not sustained a complaint of biased policing since 2012,” although more than 200 have been filed.
It’s a scathing description of a department that can’t follow its own rules and policies – and a mayor and Police Commission who can’t enforce any discipline.
John Crew, a former police-practices lawyer for the ACLU, noted in his public comments that “all of this should not be necessary.” He said that many of these problems were not new, but that the city has shown “the lack of political will to deal with these issues.”
He noted that Suhr is the highest-paid police chief in the country (at $300,000 a year) and that even entry-level officers have some of the best pay and benefits. “We have invested in professional law enforcement,” he said. “And what we got was amateur hour.”
Here’s the scary thing: Suhr can’t last, and will likely retire soon. But there is nobody better in the command staff — and the POA has such a grip on the department that it will be hard to bring in an outsider. Still, that seems to be the only solution.
* * * * *
The Murder of Luis in San Francisco 4/7/16 on a Beautiful Spring Morning
April 8, 2016
One of the greatest fears of an encroaching police state and the military-industrial-surveillance state is an engaged public. We don’t have that.
Yesterday in San Francisco a forty-five year old Mexican, homeless migrant, Luis, was murdered by police under circumstances to which many witnesses there on the scene contradict the cops’ depiction of what happened. Those witnesses claim there was absolutely no threat to those cops, much the same way we saw the video of Mario Woods walking away, crouched over in pain, from a confrontation with five cops training their pistols at his head before they fired over 40 bullets to rid the streets of what they obviously considered “undesirable” trash that needed to be put out. Mario was said to have in his hand a serrated steak knife, and not a single cop had the intelligence to knock it out of his hand with a 30 inch baton, standard police equipment. The seemingly mindless lust (bloodlust) to use their guns and prove something to their peer predators, exemplified in a herd mentality of wild beasts going after their prey, won out over “good police work” where a police officer makes full use of his equipment and his inherent common sense intelligence of dealing with a situation easily de-escalated without resorting to a barrage of bullets. Absolute insanity and a shameless gaping scar, an open pus oozing gash, on the record of SFPD.
We have a serious problem in this city that politicians like to call the city of Saint Francis, the protector of the poor, the destitute, the homeless. But those very same politicians will not buck the little water carrier for the developers and Royal Elites of this city, mayor lee, who can’t do enough Public Works sweeps of the tent cities filling our sidewalks, under our overpasses, seeking shelter, in a society where even some of those homeless campers are pulling down two jobs, but not making enough money in this unaffordable town to be able to rent a tiny apartment.
Greg Suhr, the little chieftain, will spin this criminal police behavior like pink cotton candy on a stick to whirl the sleeping public into an even deeper state of unconsciousness in the face of blatant murder by the San Francisco Police State legitimized sicarios. He will do what he did to Amilcar Perez Lopez at the townhall meeting after Amilcar was shot at least four times in the back after the police stated that he lunged at them with a knife. He got the largest blow up photo of that knife and placed it prominently up front on the stage for all to see, as if to say, “Case closed.” No, suhr, this one is not closed. You can manipulate the unengaged with shallow diversions, but the engaged are coming after your plump, orotund ass. Your whole game is and always has been the “cover up”. Game time is up.
We’ve read your playbook. You’ve overplayed your hand. We’re coming after you, and you will be forced to resign your Ol’ Bull Connor persona from the SFPD. And don’t look to Mississippi or Alabama for further employment. They’re too progressive for you. Maybe best to check out Ukraine. They’ve got these great modernized swastikas for their uniforms. You’ll fit right in cozily.
So here’s that tired old playbook again. This time you’ve got an even bigger knife, a kitchen knife, and be sure to measure it from the base of the handle to the tip of the blade. It’s so much more effective in your dishonest presentation to the media. But you’re going to have to explain how your men, trembling with fear, weapons drawn, at least three or four police cars with two officers to each, approached this middle-aged man and within 30 seconds of arrival murdered a human being because that was the only recourse they had at their disposal, to play the Dirty Harry role with a man that never bothered the neighbors and was a fixture in the neighborhood endlessly kicking a soccer ball around the streets_ surely the most obvious signs of a serial killer that needed to be eliminated.
THIRTY SECONDS, a middle-aged man completely surrounded, weapons drawn, a narrow street blocked off at both ends by police cars, and San Francisco’s finest couldn’t find the means to de-escalate a by then terrified man? Oh, that’s right, they didn’t teach you that at the Academy. You just got the shoot & kill video training, right? Why waste any brain cells of your own to use common sense?
And the little chieftain suhr can register this one in the SFPD annals of exemplary police work during his reign of terror upon the citizens of this city.
And this little chieftain suhr just the very night before in a filled to capacity Police Commission hearing, attempted to push forward a SFPD reform package of police use of force practices that included arming his apparently conscience-less Blue Shirts with tasers, despite the fact that since 2001 there have been 634 deaths attributed to tasers in the US.
…and the Commission discussed the overreaction of police to cases of the mentally disturbed
…and they discussed the aggressive patterns of behavior of police towards the homeless
…and they touched upon the lack of training of officers in effecting de-escalation procedures instead of aggravating a situation
…and in all of the above, case after case of these kinds of confrontations have pervaded the streets of San Francisco for decades.
It doesn’t take a rookie cop with a below average IQ to figure out that mule’s been kicking at the entrance to the Hall of Justice on Bryant far too long to finally have an epiphany go off in the inner caverns of the little chieftain’s cerebral cortex.
Something’s extremely, explosively dire in this city when it comes to a police force using the streets of San Francisco to play out the shallowest and most pubescent characterizations of their masculinity at the expense of the lives of others, in this case a Latino, homeless man. For Luis fits the pattern of being the victim of racist cop killings in San Francisco. The odds are even more likely it could have been a black man. But pretty soon, my unengaged white and asian residents, it could be your son or daughter.
THIRTY SECONDS! Lock that number in your mind. This is the time it took for professionally trained San Francisco police officers (for which suhr must accept the responsibility for that training), to carry out the intelligent use of that training, in ascertaining a situation in which a man didn’t even have a knife in his hand at the time of the initial confrontation, and then to escalate the situation to one of, once again, executing a middle-aged man of color.
And the Blue Code of Cover-up, the Blue Code of Closing Ranks, the Blue Code of Unaccountability shield the criminals within their ranks.
And the Unengaged in our city will accept whatever mealy mouthed, dishonest rationales given by their known to lie for the good of the Blue Shirts chieftain, so that they can go to bed at night oblivious of having any civic or moral responsibility to anyone outside of their own comfort cocoons.
–Bob of Occupy
Bernie Sanders: If You Ignore What You Hear on Corporate Media
06 April 16
s I sat and watched John King at the CNN big board last night showing us how Bernie would fall short if he won 55-45 in the rest of states, I was disgusted. If John King instead showed what would happen if Sanders won 57-43 (which he did in Wisconsin) in the rest of the states you would have seen Bernie’s line pass Hillary’s. The other networks were no better, MSNBC was showing the delegate count with the super delegates, Chris Matthews was calling the race all but over as he bashed Sanders’ spending on things that would benefit the people.
Bernie Sanders had just soundly defeated Hillary Clinton in Wisconsin, for his 7th victory in the last 8 races. Bernie will get over 70% in the next contest this Saturday in Wyoming. The media couldn’t bring themselves to just report Sanders’ success – they had to tell us why it wasn’t real. It has been this way the whole election. There is always a “but” after any praise of Bernie. So it wasn’t a surprise that while speaking on the cable news networks to his supporters in Wyoming Sanders told people to ignore what they hear on corporate media.
The corporate media has failed to report where the country is politically. It is either on purpose or they just don’t get it. The reality is right in front of them in their exit polls, so my guess is they are purposely getting it wrong and trying to spin the country back to where they are comfortable. So let’s look at what the exit polls in Wisconsin tell us.
Only one candidate excited the voters. That was Bernie Sanders. Nearly 60 of Wisconsin voters in the Democratic Primary percent said Sanders inspires them more about the future of the country. At least 7 in 10 Democratic primary voters in Wisconsin said they are excited or optimistic about what either candidate would do in office, but they’re more likely to be excited about Sanders. About a third say they’re excited about what he would do, while about half as many say that about Clinton. Voters in the Democratic Primary expressed comfort with Clinton but not excitement.
It is the same on the Republican side: More voters are excited about Donald Trump, and only 14% were excited about Ted Cruz, even though he won the state by a large margin. More Republican voters were scared of a Cruz or Trump presidency than were comfortable with either becoming the Commander in Chief.
Nine in 10 voters on the Democratic side see Sanders as trustworthy, while only 6 in 10 say the same about Hillary Clinton.
Three quarters of Democratic voters say they are worried about the direction of the U.S. economy. Over a third said the economy and jobs are the most important issues facing the country, and 3 in 10 consider income inequality to be their top concern.
The survey was conducted for the Associated Press and the television networks by Edison Research.
So it is clear that voters in Wisconsin voted for Bernie Sanders and against Donald Trump. The exit polls showed very little real support for Ted Cruz; his vote was a protest against Trump.
Bernie Sanders will win easily in Wyoming on Saturday, before the race heads to New York, where it will be all out war. The Clinton campaign will be going for the knockout on what they think is her home turf. They are already attacking Bernie on guns, claiming that criminals are going to Vermont to buy guns. They ignore the fact that most guns in New York City are bought upstate. Gun laws are less restrictive in the rest of New York State, a policy that Hillary Clinton supported in 2008 when she was the senator from New York.
CNN reported tonight that the Clinton campaign said they would get tougher on Sanders and they are ready to put him away. That will be easier said than done. While Hillary Clinton has called New York home since she moved there to run for the Senate, Bernie Sanders was born and raised in New York. Just last week he had 18,000 people at a rally in the Bronx. Next week he will hold a rally in Washington Square Park on the day before the newly agreed upon debate in Brooklyn’s Navy Yard.
Clinton will turn up the heat in that debate, as will Sanders. We already have Sanders starting to raise the issue of Clinton’s support for the Panama free trade agreement. Sanders gave a speech in 2011 in which he said the agreement would protect offshore banking practices that allow the wealthy to avoid taxes. The Panama Papers scandal is another example of Bernie Sanders being right, warning us years before a major scandal or event takes place. Clinton pushed through the Panama Free Trade Deal at the same time that Sanders vocally opposed it, warning that it would limit the government’s ability to clamp down on illegal activity.
New York will be a must-win for Sanders if he is going to catch Clinton in pledged delegates. It will not be the end for Sanders or his political revolution, which is revealing a major shift to the left in this country. In 2008, 46% of Wisconsin Democratic primary voters called themselves liberal, 40% moderate, and 14% conservative. In 2016, 61% said they were liberal, 27% moderate, and 5% conservative.
The country is shifting politically, and Sanders’ political revolution has momentum that will translate beyond 2016. If Hillary wins the nomination she will be the last corporate Democrat to lead the party. Progressives are poised to take control of the party.
Scott Galindez attended Syracuse University, where he first became politically active. The writings of El Salvador’s slain archbishop Oscar Romero and the on-campus South Africa divestment movement converted him from a Reagan supporter to an activist for Peace and Justice. Over the years he has been influenced by the likes of Philip Berrigan, William Thomas, Mitch Snyder, Don White, Lisa Fithian, and Paul Wellstone. Scott met Marc Ash while organizing counterinaugural events after George W. Bush’s first stolen election. Scott will be spending a year covering the presidential election from Iowa.
Observations of Bob
January 15, 2016
In the 1930’s, it was neighbors of the owners of family farms throughout the country that gathered at their homes and watched the local sheriffs move in and foreclose upon their properties.
This morning in San Francisco at 3 Las Villas Court in the Bay View District that scene was repeated eight decades later.at the home of Pastor Yul Dorn, his wife, their daughter, and granddaughter.
At 8:15 AM, unmarked white vehicles pulled up down the street and the process began. Initially after several knocks on the door. there was no response.
Around 9;17, the garage door opened on the street level and Pastor Dorn, a black resident of the Bay View, emerged. He immediately put a call to his wife and she showed up to the house at 9:21. As she got out of the car she started to cry. When she entered the garage to go upstairs to collect her granddaughter and her belongings, one could hear screams of desperation from the sidewalk outside.The reality was no longer something that could hold back the built up tension that had been part of her life for seven years, fighting the eviction. Their family home of some twenty years was being seized from them with eight deputies present to enforce it.
What began as an administrative error on the part of the bank, had escalated to refinancing and eventual default.. Their house had been auctioned off to a neighbor without their knowledge. This neighbor was obviously a speculator as he owned seven houses and had picked up this one at below market value.
While witnessing the goings on, I struck up a conversation with a black woman in her sixties who said that she had almost lost her home years before but had been saved with the help of Occupy Activist. here in SF. Having lost her job and then being involved in a head on collision , she had fallen behind in her payments. Apparently capitalism has no room for the misfortunes that get in the way of the bank’s bottom line. Happily, Occupy had been effective in her case and prevented the banks from seizing her home.
Shortly after 10, Mrs. Dorn left the house in her car along with her daughter and granddaughter
At 10:11, a sheriff’s van pulled up and Pastor Yul, Grace of Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment, and three activists who had sat down in the garage and refused to move earlier were led to the van and driven away.
Attempts had been made on multiple occasions with the speculator to give the Dorn’s an opportunity to work out the possibility of buying back their home from him, but were met as many unanswered responses.
History just keeps repeating itself as the banksters continue their control over the lives of families only look like profit digits on a computer spread sheet to them.
Last night . . . January 7, 2016
November 29, 2015
Sixty million people died in World War II, but fascism won. It didn’t win on the battlefield. It didn’t win right away. It won because the same fears, the same greed, the same hatred that fueled its growth in the first part of the twentieth century never went away. The symbols of fascism became anathema, but the causes … went deep. And gradually, slowly, one step at a time, all those vices became first tolerated, then treated as virtues, and then as the only acceptable view.
Godwin’s Law—the contention that any argument will eventually come round to warnings about Hitler—is twenty-five years old, but for much longer than that, we’ve been taught that the use of that… f-word, is not to be taken seriously. Sure, every government program, new or old, is open to accusations of communism and warnings of a slippery slope toward some failed dictatorship. That’s expected. But to even acknowledge our long, stumbling lurch to the right; the building force of corporate power; the relentless need for war; a police whose power of enforcement is divorced from law; a preening nationalism that rewards the full rights of citizenship only to those who fit an ever-narrower mold… You can’t call it fascism. People will only laugh.
It was French poet Charles Baudelaire who said “the finest trick of the devil is to persuade you that he does not exist.” The finest trick of the modern fascist? The same. Nothing is ever fascist. It’s just “very conservative.” And this week’s very conservative, is next weeks middle of the road.
After all, what politician could be taken seriously who didn’t accept the completely middle of the road position that we should value the safety of the populace over the preservation of rights? Forget that oath. The top job of the president is to keep the American public safe, no matter what that takes.
It looks like the American people are waking up. They know that electing a Commander-in-Chief to keep America safe, so that we remain free, is what the 2016 election is all about.
Even when doing that job means abandoning families left destitute by war.
“Republicans and Democrats came together in a veto-proof majority to respond to the will of the American people and do our primary job to keep them safe,” said Representative Richard Hudson of North Carolina, a Republican, who co-sponsored the bill with Homeland Security Chairman Michael McCaul of Texas.
That drive for safety über alles means that we must surrender our privacy to the state censors who read everything we write, listen to everything we say, view every transaction we make, without a warrant and keep doing it even when they say they’re not. It means that we have a police that makes use of tanks and other military gear to invade the homes of ordinary citizens, and where police take more property than criminals without convictions, or even charges.
Now we’ve come to an election year in which the promise of surveillance of those who follow the wrong religion, internment camps, torture and racism, racism, racism is not just a strategy, but a winning strategy.
This is who we are …
Which part doesn’t apply?
There are a thousand definitions for fascism, most of them concocted simply to show that what you’re doing isn’t a step in the direction of fascism, but what that other guy proposes certainly would be. But I’m not saying we’re moving toward fascism. I’m saying we started that drift a long time ago, and now we’re well across the line. We started by labeling minorities in our own cities as “welfare queens” and constructed a mythology that drove a wedge through our nation. We started by equating democratic action with sure failure, and elevating capitalism into a cause. We started … and we kept going.
We went there when we we turned greed—the kind of sick, envious greed that makes people value the rich over the poor and corporations over individuals—into not only a virtue, but a cornerstone of our nation cemented in place by repeated Supreme Court rulings that certify the preeminent position of wealth and corporate power.
We went there when we turned nationalism—blind prejudice against those who don’t conform to the image of “us”—into a flag-waving patriotism that’s expressed in calls to enforce state religion and turn even those born here into “other” if they don’t have the right skin tone. We went there when we used that nationalism to fuel unwarranted invasions that destabilized huge portions of the world and directly drove the terrorism that we’re now using to fuel yet more nationalism and more attacks and more terrorism and more nationalism in an insane, self-reinforcing loop.
We went there when we turned fear—quivering, knock-kneed jittery cowardice—into the illusion of “being tough” by throwing our freedoms away in double handfuls. It was that fear (and keen lobbying from defense contractors) that caused us, with no justification whatsoever, to begin funneling military equipment into our police forces, and to replace “protect and serve” with “dominate and control.”
This is a year in which not only the leading candidate for the GOP nomination, but all major candidates have favored building a “permanent border wall” separating America from neighboring nations and justifying this wall on the basis of racist caricature of immigrants. A year where the idea of internment camps isn’t restricted to the GOP. It’s a year in which protests have been met by tanks. In which reason is decried as weakness. In which we’ve taken all our worst instincts, and held them up proudly.
This is who we are. Police in riot gear block a street near the CVS Pharmacy building in Baltimore April 28, 2015. Hundreds of rioters looted businesses and set buildings on fire, including the pharmacy, in Baltimore on Monday in widespread violence that injured at least 15.
Sinclair Lewis never actually said “When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross, ” but he should have. And he should have mentioned that no one would dare speak its name.
“Our American values are not luxuries but necessities—not the salt in our bread, but the bread itself. Our common vision of a free and just society is our greatest source of cohesion at home and strength abroad—greater than the bounty of our material blessings.” — Jimmy Carter
Government’s first duty is to protect the people, not run their lives. — Ronald Reagan
“In terms of accomplishments, my biggest accomplishment is that I kept the country safe amidst a real danger.” — George W. Bush
Re: Watch Four Former Drone Pilots/Technicians
November 20, 2015
Only about twenty six years separated the Vietnam War from the Afghan- Iraqi War. My first reaction when it started in full force was disbelief. Hadn’t we learned anything? My assumption did not stand up to the reality.
Men grow up in most societies where feelings are considered signs of weakness. We are conditioned to control them, deny them, refuse to even comprehend the emotional intelligence residing in them. They are part of our common humanity that we share with all creatures on this planet. But we learn to bury them. Our sense of manhood demands it.
And so we lose our human souls.
I sometimes read about a narrative or see a video of children or mothers and fathers talking about the realities of witnessing the death of their loved ones, and I’m sitting alone in my home (there’s nobody else here, just me), and my heart fills up my chest and the force of it pushes up to my head and tears want to come out, but everything within me is forcing that pressure to back up, to prevent from overwhelming me. One night not too long ago when this took over me, I realized there’s nobody around to see my “weakness”. Why am I holding this back?
Watching these four young men, former drone pilots or technicians, I saw our culture of fraudulent masculinity split wide open through their conscious awareness of taking responsibility. Older men put younger men into these positions of moral conflict and in most cases never face the same, never will, never have. All the pressures of armies, nation populations, an entire young lifetime of conditioned but false patriotism, the expectations of teachers, families, and hometowns comes crashing down like a military tank on top of a lamb and yet these four did not allow themselves to be used by the pretentious leaders who would eventually sell them out as quickly as they would spit out a foul taste in their mouths.
We live in a world where a Barak Obama and a Michelle Obama, with beaming smiles and popular personalities, shield the realities of Other People’s experiencing horrific and brutally savage dismemberment and death of their families reflective of all of us Americans who are responsible for this murderous act.
So many of us, male or female, are conditioned throughout our lives, to look at what befalls Others devastatingly, as an Abstraction. The magnanimity of our own accountability causes us to retreat into a world of make believe or denial or of unconsciousness. Whether it’s Hillary or Joe Biden or Nancy Pelosi or Dianne Feinstein, Donald Trump, or the entire Bush family, I see a look of frightened conscience pretending the only thing that matters is the front they feel pressured to present to the Public. But they are dead inside. For they will continue the charade at all costs.
These men did not.
A short while ago, and I alluded to this earlier in this letter, I saw a video of a Palestinian father desperately squeezing the dead body of his young daughter, a child that must have given him so much love for her innocence and sweetness. Others were trying to get him to let go of her. Somehow they felt that was the thing to do. He wouldn’t let go. I found my self screaming to leave him alone, this is all he has left. Leave him alone.
Maybe my anger was compensating for the pain I was feeling for another man’s love for his daughter that I felt, but when compared to his deep grief, all I had to offer him were the tears rolling from my eyelids.
–Bob of Occupy
Blair in Shit Creek
November 2, 2015
On Democracy Now this morning, Amy Goodman reported that officials within the Blair administration were ordered to destroy a secret document questioning the legality of the war. One General Lord Goldsmith created that report.
The Chilcot Report investigating Blair’s entry of Britain into the Iraq War has yet to be released. It has been delayed interminably. But perhaps pressure from the British People in light of this and other information and statements by Blair might force it out of the dark.
It’s a positive sign that could also be a catalyst for an investigation of Cheney and “what’s his name?”
–Bob of Occupy
October 14, 2015
Sadly the debate was the only show in town last night. A couple of observations though I missed the last half hour.
Compared to the Republican Circus, the questions were hard hitting at last, but could have covered many more issue of deep concern to the voters of this country.
Sanders was a commanding force and Hillary looked like the perfect politician trying to have it both ways. And of course she had her little managerie of probably blind female loyalists squealing at her every not answering the question directly.
When the question of what was the most pressing national security issue facing the American People came up, all but Sanders said terrorism and the Middle East. Sanders said the survival of the planet.
I don’t believe there was any mention of Palestine and a third intifada though with almost a thousand deaths and casualties together in a week it strikes me as a willful disregard for reality by the manipulators of CNN. A recent article by Norman Finkelstein points out that Palestinian young people both male and female have had it and are showing up to these demos in droves. This is a spontaneous reaction to decades of injustice. Norman points out that they are not being led by any organizations. It is a spontaneous response to the continued building of settlements, the violation of the Temple Mount by Jews, and the ever oppressive measures carried out by the IDF.
It is the Palestinian Arab Spring.
And who cannot understand their anger?
–Bob of Occupy
Checkers vs. Chess in the Middle East and Africa
September 20, 2015