The Never ending war: 15 years later US Wars are ghettoizing not democratizing the Middle East

bombed-out-libya

 
Some were alarmed about the revelation last week that the US government asked for its bonuses back from a group of California National Guardsman. But even more outrageous is the fact that October marks 15 years since the US government began its war on Afghanistan and by extension its nebulous and ill defined “War on Terrorism,” that subsequently included Iraq, Pakistan, Libya, Somalia, Yemen and now Syria.
 
And just as disconcerting is the fact that most US citizens go about their daily lives and ignore the deaths the pain and suffering this has brought about on their fellow human beings both at home and abroad.
 
Spurred on by the 2001 Authorization to Use Military Force Act, these wars continue to be fought, not to protect our liberty, but rather they are wars of aggression, fought for power, natural resources and profit, fought by the many for the few. Continuous war benefits the financiers and the weapons manufacturers, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, General Dynamics, Raytheon who have made billions in profit as a result.
 
US propaganda would have us believe that these wars are being fought to make the world safe for democracy, or to bring about democracy. But a careful analysis of the results of these efforts shows that the US has left in the wake of these efforts nothing but chaos, destruction and failed States. The cure has been worse than the disease.
 
Iraq civilian deaths alone have been put at over 250,000 by the website Iraqbodycount.com and Brown University researchers in 2014 have put the deaths in Afghanistan and Pakistan at 149,000 which includes civilians and US soldiers. Researchers have since added another 15,000 civilians to that total in Afghanistan alone. Hundreds of thousands more have been injured or seriously wounded. Thousands more have been left homeless.
 
According to a study by Brown University’s Institute for International and Public Affairs, the cost of the war has reached over
 
$5,000,000,000,000 that is over 5 TRILLION DOLLARS. That figure includes a little more than a trillion dollars that will be spent on health care for veterans. And according the study’s author future generations will still be paying on the debt accrued in this war.
 
The author Neta Crawford admitted that her findings were, “so large as to be almost incomprehensible.” She also stated that, “A full accounting of any war’s burdens cannot be places in columns on a ledger….From the civilians harmed or displaced by violence, to the soldiers killed and wounded, to the children who play years later on roads and fields sown with improvised explosive devices and cluster bombs, no set of numbers can convey the human toll of the wars.”
 
Five trillion dollars?
 
No doubt with that kind of money we could put people to work rebuilding the infrastructure. We could educate ALL of our children, we could build affordable housing, public transportation, drug treatment centers, mental health facilities and the list of public good and benefit that could come from that money is only limited by your imagination.
 
At present the US is allies with Al Queada (its sworn enemy), in its effort to overthrow the Syrian government. Yes this is the same terrorist organization that the US government swore a blood oath to destroy yet they are doing business together in yet another effort at US ghettoization.
 
It is absolutely imperative that people begin to talk about ending this constant warring. “What (to quote the group WAR), is it good for?” Who does it benefit? What had Iraq done to the US or us? What had the Afghans done to the US or us (the 9/11 bombers were primarily Saudi Arabians)? What did Somalia do the US or Libya or Pakistan or Yemen?
 
It should be noted that today’s warriors have been pre-conditioned to fight these wars against Middle Eastern people because they are fed a constant diet of ostracism, criminalization and marginalization of the “other,” the other race, the other sex, the other religion, or from that other country. In Iraq the other were insurgents, in Chiraq the other are thugs. In Afghanistan the enemy were “sand ni—ers” in South Baltimore they were just “n—ers.” Label them terrorist or criminals and most of the good citizens of this republic will agree with their class enemies that, “they had it coming.”
 
Hilary Clinton has said of the US, “we are great because we are good.” In truth we like them, are in danger of becoming small moral midgets and like them we are beginning to give in to apathy and indifference to human suffering. We must resist this temptation with all our might and we must reclaim our humanity and remind one another that we have a common humanity (despite the ruling classes lies and propaganda) and that “an injury to one is an injury to all.”
 
justice then peace

Minneapolis Democratic and female mayor/police chief taunt community in Jamar Clark case

 

hodges-and-harteau

No one expected the unfair, unjust, immoral police system we live under to discipline (even in liberal and supposedly progressive Minneapolis the future of home of the Super Bowl in 2018) in any way the cops who unnecessarily killed Jamar Clark nearly a year ago. So why did the Minneapolis power structure lead by two women, mayor Betsy Hodges and police chief Janae Harteau make a big deal about announcing their non- punishment of these cops?

The news rang out all over the country on every major news outlet from CNN to the Chicago Tribune to the Washington Post. The message was delivered, Minneapolis holds the line, business as usual.

The press conference was called to assure the Minneapolis police that they have carte blanche and nothing will be done if they harm or kill a citizen especially a Black one. Or as Charles Samuelson of the Minnesota ACLU put it, “This sends a chilling message to all Minneapolis police officers that the next time they confront a similar situation they should take another life.”

Contrast this with Harteau’s outrage with the arbitrator’s judgment reversing her decision to fire a cop who had disrespected (calling a woman the C word and grabbing her by the throat) two women involved in a domestic dispute.

The press conference was called to reassure the power structure that the police, when caught in these situations will not hesitate to follow procedure and protocol and deal with (even fatally) those that threaten their authority.

Moreover, the conference also represented a taunt, a tossing up of their middle finger and in your face to the Black community in particular and the justice loving community in general.

The press conference was synonymous with urinating on Jamar Clark’s grave.

At bottom, it suggests they have no sense of decency!

Truth is, few people gave much thought about whether the police were even considering disciplining the officers. No one was waiting with “baited breath” so to speak to see if the police were going to hold the cold-blooded killers Mark Ringgenberg and Dustin Schwarze accountable.

The nice lady who is mayor said “I know that some will be angry at this decision and find it difficult to accept, and I get that.” She would be wrong; to be angry folks would have to expect a different outcome, most Minneapolitans and others around the country expected nothing less than business as usual. If folks are mad they would be upset with the mayor and her crew for their callousness. What is hard to accept is the rubbing of the decision in the faces of the family and the community.

Harteau was quoted in the Star Tribune saying, “she was going to be talking to community leaders (read collaborators) about her decision and the ways “we can all move forward together in the coming weeks, months and years.””

Who is she talking to: the stupid and the foolish?

Clearly Harteau thinks people are stupid, because she made the unbelievable statement that, “these officers did not dictate the outcome of this incident.” What is she talking about? Clark didn’t shoot himself, these officers absolutely determined the outcome of the incident by putting a bullet in Clark’s head, which despite their creative lies about why they killed him they weren’t forced to kill him.

How can anyone move forward when this system continues to victimize folks, while absolutely no one is ever held accountable? It’s absolutely impossible for a human institution to be justified in every situation in which it is called into question. The cop’s actions in Minneapolis are ALWAYS justified! It defies all odds and logic.

Anyone who attends that meeting is naïve and at bottom dishonest!

Besides, what is there to talk about? The decision has been made. And since according to them shooting human beings down like dogs in the street is justified, so we can expect more of the same. These folks didn’t even have the decency to apologize for the loss of life.

Mayor Hodges even had the nerve to use the word healing. How could that take place, according to her and the power structure there wasn’t even a wound, just a justified action?

This incident proves yet again that sex and party affiliation have no bearing on a system that coddles and encourages injustice, in this case, police abuse. You would think that women and good liberal Democrats would know better than to add insult to injury!

 

justice then peace

 

“The Birth of a Nation” stumbles while its detractors fall short

 

 

the-birth-of-a-nation-pic-2

Nate Parker and his critics let the American public off the hook yet again. Distractions have given many folks an excuse not to look at a film that captures the savagery of chattel slavery (that inhumane period of barbarity that good Americans like to tell African Americans to just get over) Unfortunately it over promises and under delivers as it fails to stick to the historical record and doesn’t flesh out the real Nat Turner or his very real reasons for wanting to rebel.

 
No doubt Parker should have been more forthcoming about the controversy surrounding what occurred between him and his Penn State classmate 17 years ago (he was found innocent of charges of misconduct).But his critics deserve criticism for confusing the creation, the movie, with the creator Parker.
 
Gabrielle Union who plays a rape victim in the movie, said about the alleged misconduct, “Regardless of what I think may have happened that night, after reading all 700 pages of the trial transcript, I still don’t actually know.” So she is undecided about Parker’s guilt, but she continued to denigrate Parker and has encouraged people not to see the film. There have however been no reports about her returning her check!
 
Incredibly they have all minimized a great story a rebellion a fight back a resistance.
 
Go see the movie if you haven’t, though it takes liberties, it does a good job of depicting the reality and savagery of slavery. Nat Turner’s owner was a more kindly master but he didn’t hesitate to remind Nat who was owner and who was slave and when he had to, he literally put Nat in his place with his bull whip. When company demanded one of his married slave women for his sexual pleasure he obliged, nice guy and all. One particularly disturbing scene depicts a slave owner hammering out the teeth and force feeding slaves who had gone on a hunger strike.
 
But, despite its high points,this is not the story of Nat Turner’s rebellion so much as it is Nate Parker’s fictionalized version,which allows him to live out his own fantasies of avenging his woman and going out in a blaze of glory.
 
However, Nat Turner’s 1831 rebellion was( if “The Confession of Nat Turner” are to be believed) inspired by visions from God. It was this God, according to him that had chosen him to lead an armed rebellion against that which God viewed as repugnant and immoral; chattel slavery. This was Turner’s view of liberation theology and Black theology his practicum of “Theology of the Oppressed.”
 
Conversely some Black women academics and others in their critiques, “missed the forest for the trees.” A New York Times review by University of Pennsylvania professor Salamishah Tillet, was titled “How ‘The Birth of a Nation’ Silences Black Women.” Clearly she needs to peek over the “ivory” tower.
 
Black women aren’t silenced by any movie! They have literally been held down, silenced, picked at, picked over, underpaid, unheard, overworked, exploited, assaulted, savaged, impoverished and literally imprisoned by this political economic, social order.
 
Moreover, Parker wasn’t the first, to “deny Black women their agency,” as another Black feminist academic accused the film of doing. Ava DuVernay’s “Selma” was given a pass for putting Amelia Boynton in the kitchen along with her middle and working class Black sisters, who made the struggle in Selma possible, while reinforcing the “Great Man” theory of Civil Rights history. The preachers of SCLC and MLK were part of the story no doubt, but it shouldn’t have necessitated that the women be placed in the back.
 
How did identity politics enter this discussion? The historical record says that Africans were stolen from Africa and made to work as animals and treated like cows and chickens and thus the term chattel. Enslaved men and women found ways to resist sometimes as a group and at other times individually; either covertly, surreptitiously and sometimes outright rebellion.
 
Indeed the slave narratives tell the story of women with real “ovaries” who held their captors in utter contempt and in the face of physical annihilation literally cuss Massa out and at times return blow for blow.
 
The Ivy League professor also claimed that, “The Birth of a Nation” is also out of step with the cause it has often been associated with, Black Lives Matter, which has steadfastly resisted the model of a single charismatic male leader and has primarily been led by African-American women.”
 
On the contrary, the movies’ theme of resistance is not out of step, it’s consistent with the idea of Black liberation. Their argument is with history. The movie is about Nat Turner not Natalie Turner, or Nate Parker for that matter. Parker got Turner’s motivation for the revolt wrong, but it doesn’t mean that a more realistic portrayal has to adhere to a 21st century view of how a slave rebellion should be carried out. This is Parker’s rendition of what happened.
 
Nevertheless it should be noted that slave women did indeed participate in the uprising. The historical record reveals that Lucy owned by a John Barrow was executed for taking part in the insurrection.
 
No matter what we may think of the arrogant, narcissistic Parker, slavery actually happened, Nat Turner actually led a rebellion of slaves in South Hampton, Virginia. The point of telling this story is to remind us that some slaves resisted and that we too can fight back and to give the new masters reason not to sleep so soundly, because oppressed people historically don’t always stay oppressed.
 
Nat Turner Presente
 
justice then peace

Haiti needs help, not judgment and NO  it isn’t cursed (well not by God anyway)

 

 

hurricane-matthew-in-haiti

Haiti needs help and should be helped; period. Some claim the country is cursed. It has been but not by the Creator, no Haiti has been cursed by the North American and Western European ruling classes, whose constant meddling in Haiti is designed to force Haiti into a vassal state. And the Western nations have no intention on forgiving Haiti of its original sin: liberatig itself from slavery.

It is these folks  North Americans and European neighbors who ripped Haiti off after their last disaster (the 2010 earthquake) using their NGO’s to pocket the lion’s share of nearly a billion dollars with the help of Bill and Hilary Clinton. (Bill controlled the Haiti Reconstruction Fund Hillary as Secretary of State oversaw US funds)

Before Haiti can begin to dig out from the disaster wrought by Hurricane Matthew they find themselves having to explain themselves and justify their existence.

Ironically, they also find themselves the victims of a kind of “charity fatigue” as a result of the earthquake rip-off. Add to that the reluctance for people to see Haitians as they see themselves.

In reporting on the damage wrought by Hurricane Matthew on Haiti the US newspaper of record the New York Times thought it was appropriate to editorialize and provide a critique of Haitian society  rather than simply report the damage.

The Times seemed to be providing Americans with a way out, an excuse for not sympathizing with the Haitian plight and an excuse keep one’s wallet closed.

In two “objective” news articles, “Hurricane Matthew Makes Old Problems Worse for Haitians,”and  ”Toll Rises by Hour in Haiti Amid Ruin Left by Hurricane Matthew,” reporter Azam Amed not so subtly implies that the damage is partly the victims fault by writing:

“The country’s infrastructure had been in decline for decades, even before the earthquake and other storms weakened it further. ……Policies that ordered or permitted the stripping of trees have left barren and scorched landscapes susceptible to mudslides. Poor development has left the country defenseless to hurricanes…The nation’s politics, meanwhile, often brew their own type of disaster, leaving the country bereft of clearly elected leaders.”

However Azam Amed  who as a refugee from Afghanistan a country that has faced lots of problems, many stemming from European and US interference should have known better.

Unfortunately his editorializing was only partially accurate because he conveniently left off how Haiti wound up in this position.

Deforestation of Haiti began the day Columbus got off the boat and claimed he discovered Hispanolia. His moneyed colonists  built huge plantations where trees once stood. Haiti was one of the richest colonies in the New World. The slaves of Haiti revolted led by Dessaline and Toussaint L’Overture subsequently handing a defeat to Napolean’s army and freeing itself. For getting themselves free they became an automatic enemy of the United States along with England that enforced a blockade making it nearly impossible to trade. France forced the new nation to pay it 90 million gold francs as the price for compensation for the slaveholders losses, at the point of a gun with the US providing incentive with its Navy.

The new nation impoverished itself trying to repay the debt, which wasn’t paid off until 1947. The debt amounts to about $20 billion in today’s currency. Haiti in 2004 asked France to pay it back France refused.

The United States consistently meddled in the affairs of Haiti even occupying it from 1915 to 1934 while controlling the island nation’s economy through 1947 . The US has invaded Haiti at other time as well. Every time the Haitian people attempted to rule and run Haiti for everyday working class Haitians the US would intervene and prop up the elite. More recently the US helped prop up the brutal dictatorships (1957-1986) of Francois Duvalier (Popa Doc) and later his son Jean Claude Duvalier (Baby Doc).

In the early 1980s, over a million pigs were destroyed in a US-Canadian program supposedly to prevent the spread of swine fever.

Haiti had produced inexpensive rice for its domestic market but in 1995, the International Monetary Fund mandated as part of it economic plan for Haiti that Haiti cut tariffs on rice imports to Haiti from 35% to 3%. As a result Haitian rice farmers were literally priced out of business..

In 2004 the US was suspected in helping to overthrow the elected leader of Haiti at the time, Jean Bertrand Aristide.

The expected human response when people are in need of help is to help them. But for whatever reason when human beings that are Haitian are in need of help the response is tempered by finger pointing, criticism, editorializing. ‘Haitians ought to take care of themselves,’ folks like to say. They would if the US and others would simply help them get on their feet and then get out of their affairs.

justice then peace

Revisiting the basket of DEPLORABLES

basket-of-deplorables

Donald Trump has proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that he belongs in Hilary Clinton’s basket of deplorables. But what is also becoming more obvious is that this sham of an election belongs in the basket. And sober, honest, introspection should reveal that Clinton should be placed in it as well.

 
Deplorable is the best word to describe Trumps behavior and his right wing campaign designed to further divide the US population. What other reason could there be for the ruling class to allow him to be the Republican candidate for office? What does Trump have to do to be disqualified?
 
He is recorded talking about grabbing women by the crotch, nearly calling women whores, while body shaming them publicly. He has picked on handicapped folks, denigrated and questioned a judges ability to be impartial solely on the basis of their ethnicity, engaged in name calling, incited violence against those who disagree with him at his rallies, engaged in shoddy business practices, discriminated against tenants, used his money to unfairly condemn innocent teenagers. What hasn’t he done?
 
Could it be that he was foisted upon us as the wolf so that the fox Clinton would look more palatable? It’s starting to become the only thing that makes sense.
 
Clintons’ failings, while not being as obnoxious should also raise concerns. Her judgment seems questionable at best consider her choice of spouse; Bill (Slick Willie)Clinton(a constant philander)and friends including Madeline Albright who thought starving out Iraqi children was a price worth paying to make a political point.
 
Clinton who is the fox in this game of chose your favorite predator, has the real record of being a warmonger. (while many are preoccupied with Trump’s finger on the switch). She voted for the Patriot Act and for war on Iraq. As Secretary of State she meddled in Syria helping to foment the present conflict. She called for and supporting the bombing and destruction of what used to be Libya. Of that conflict she said, “We came, we saw, we conquered.” When the US was trying to figure out what to do about Wiki-Leaks and Julian Assange she asked, “Can’t we use a drone on him?”
 
The Clinton’s shady dealings are too long to list here. The email issue is a real one but what tells you all you need to know about the Clintons and Hilary is the fact that they used the Clinton Foundation to exploit Haiti after the catastrophic earthquake in 2010. Look it up most people would be embarrassed. But not Hilary.
 
Clinton correctly labeled deplorable; xenophobia, Islamaphobia, homophobia, racism and sexism. While pointing her finger at the Trump supporters (which no doubt includes a healthy share of bigots), she skillfully avoided condemning the source of these prejudices, the system the propagator of these biases. The same system that has foisted on us possibly the biggest sham of an election this country has ever seen.
 
Ultimately, it is the system which taught, prodded and indoctrinated, propagandized, and stupefied these folks into hating their fellow human beings, which is truly deplorable and irredeemable.
 
Moreover, focus on Trump supporters puts the onus on the branch and not the root of the tree. This too is divisive, it separates and divides and implies that people who have in common working for a living will never see eye to eye.
 
No doubt if you are a woman some sexism can get on your last nerve, if you are gay, homophobes can try your patience, if you are an immigrant it is annoying dealing with xenophobic Americans, if you practice Islam there are times when one may feel like they are always having to justify themselves and if you are Black well……. you know all the above adjectives apply.
 
But the truth is some simply don’t know any better (notice some have embraced being deplorable) they have been effectively, tricked, hoodwinked, brainwashed duped by American propaganda as propagated by the US corporate press. To do better one has to know better.
 
Deplorable is a fit description of the Big Business, corporate press, which forfeited any creditibility it may have had, with its coverage of Trump. For the sake of dollars, they regurgitated the ranting’s of this demagogic hustler, like pigs eating slop, like dogs eating their own poop. They fed us a steady diet of this divisiveness. It was all Donald, all the time, because it was good for business. The president of CBS is on record saying as much.
 
While Trump encourages division and bigotry, Hilary exacerbates it by further driving a wedge between the misled and those who have at least kept their biases in check. Us vs. them does not bode well for any of us that have to work for a living.
 
Yes I am aware of those who say this two party system is the best there is, but we should all find that idea deplorable considering the present state of things.
 
justice then peace

 

 

U of Minnesota “Build the Wall” mural is indecent speech posing as free speech

build-the-wall-mural

Proving yet again that those with power and influence are as clueless as anyone else the University of Minnesota president Eric Kaler defended as free speech the campus Young Republicans not so subtle attempt to denigrate all things Latin when they painted a sign on the West Bank wall saying “Build the Wall.”  Making matters worse he chastised students who simply tried to paint over the insulting phrase and made it appear that were worse than the folks who in essence were saying Mexicans go home.

Liz Sawyer of the local Big Business press the Star Tribune tried to run to their defense as well writing an article that said that the rebuke of the students who painted over the sign was a lesson in free speech.

Only the dishonest can pretend that “build the wall,” is anything other than hate speech. The statement is not borne out of the need for new policy when it comes to Mexico, but its borne out of hatred and dislike for those who don’t have a European pedigree. Every honest person knows its code for go back to Mexico, or just a middle finger aimed at our Latino brothers and sisters. It’s an anti-immigration statement. Donald Trump advocated for building a wall between the US and Mexico because he wanted to appeal to xenophobes.

At bottom it is the language of proto-fascist thugs!

Of course the blatant irony in all this is just about everybody trying to tell folks to go back to where they came from originally came from somewhere else and it wasn’t that long ago.

Sawyer very unobjectively stated as fact the idea that students had learned a lesson in free speech though no one she interviewed said so. It’s likely she thinks she struck a blow for the cause of free speech, but she would be as wrong as her analysis.

The students on campus didn’t learn a lesson in free speech. What they learned is that there are people on campus who are intolerant, xenophobic and narrow. Latin students learned that there are some students on campus who would like to see them go back to where they come. The students learned that they are in a hostile environment. They also learned that the administration isn’t going to defend their right to exist but is going to coddle the intolerant allowing them to hide their thuggish behavior behind the right to free speech.

Moreover they learned that the Young Republicans are just young sniveling cowards, who possess so little confidence in themselves and their position that instead of taking their perspective to the University square and testing their ideas against those of their peers instead, took a cheap shot

“The University of Minnesota supports a campus climate that welcomes all members of our community and our values of equity and diversity,” wrote President Kaler, “but that also ensures the free flow of ideas, even those that are offensive to some .People in our community may disagree with the sentiment expressed. However, while the University values free speech, the subsequent vandalism of the panel is not the way to advance a conversation.”

But scribbling hateful signs is advancing conversation? And signs implying some students should go home are welcoming?

Oddly Kaler wasn’t as vigilant in defending the rights of the four Black football players recently suspended apparently without due process, simply because they were accused of wrong doing.

A real leader would have used this as a teachable moment.  They would have pointed out that while you have the right to say what you want, you should also be willing to take responsibility for whatever harm your speech causes. A real leader would have organized a debate on immigration on campus while pointing out that real free speech is that which adds to the pantheon of ideas that helps advance the ideas of human solidarity and unity

The Young Republicans response is telling: “Our party’s nominee supports building a wall on the Mexican border to stop the flow of illegal immigrants into this country. We understand that some students may disagree with this policy position. However, free speech is at the center of a functioning democracy, and the action taken against our panels runs contrary to free speech.

While free speech may be at the heart of a democracy, Xenophobia and hate speech are central to fascism.

The sign was divisive, a pejorative, a provocation.  It was a like throwing an insult and then hiding under the president’s coat, or behind the Constitution.

Ideally, speech that’s accepted in the public square is civil speech, speech which unites rather divides speech which builds rather than destroys speech that inspires rather than discourages.

justice then peace

Standing Rock water fight: “Deja vue” all over again, the Indians vs the Robber Barons

 

standing-rock-protest

The struggle of the Standing Rock Sioux Nation against the proposed 1,172 mile Dakota Access Pipeline is a throwback fight, it conjures up memories of the centuries earlier tussle between a people who hold that the earth is sacred, versus Big Business and finance capital who hold nothing sacred except the possession of property,the making of money and the exploitation of labor.

Dogs, mace, armored cars, shotguns, assault rifles and automatic weapons have been used to deter the Standing Rock Sioux and other Indian nations and their allies in their struggle to protect their and our water and their burial grounds.
 
The $3.8 billion Dakota Access pipeline  would begin at North Dakota’s Bakken oil field, and would move about half a million barrels of crude oil a day through the Dakotas, Iowa, and into a hub in Illinois.
The iron fist approach isn’t working, so not surprisingly the people who believe money is everything offered the Standing Rock Nation a bribe. James J. Volker, chief executive officer of Whiting Petroleum, said in a recent interview that,” tribal grievances against the pipeline could be solved if the industry gave tribes economic opportunities. That would include contracting with Native American-owned firms for water hauling and other oil-related jobs [on the project]”
However, Dave Archambault II, chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux, dismissed the bribe saying money has nothing to do with their opposition. The chairman said in an interview with Reuters that, “It’s going to be very difficult for us to allow this line to come through just because some indigenous-owned company may benefit. If this pipeline goes through, we will be the first to pay the cost.”
The Indians and their allies are opposed to the pipeline because it threatens to disturb Native burial grounds and would run next to the Standing Rock Nation and under the Missouri river adjacent to the Nation. The pipeline which is about 48 percent complete will run under the Missouri river which is a water source for the tribe. According to the Nation, if the river is polluted by a spill it could contaminate its water supply as well as destroy the river which would have a far reaching environmental impact.
At present most of the oil is delivered by rail which has its own hazards. But oil and gas pipelines practically always produce spills. Southeast Georgia is currently battling a major gas spill.
The BP Deepwater Horizon disaster exposed the damage crude oil can do to water, marine and wild life. Oil spills on land are just as hazardous. Spills on land could render fertile land unfit for plant life, because it reduces the soil’s ability to hold oxygen, which is a key element of plant growth and photosynthesis. Oil also prevents water from being absorbed, which keeps plants from being nourished.
Proving once again that protest does work, the Obama administration ordered a temporary halt to construction for 40 miles on each side after a US District Court previously refused to stop the pipeline. The D.C. US Appeals Court granted a temporary halt while other appeals can be heard.
CNN won’t cover this story, nor will the major corporate news bodies give it more than a mention. They won’t cover the protest because there are a lot of Big Banks (international and national), including CitiBank, Wells Fargo and Bank of America with large investments in the company building the pipeline, Dakota Access LLC, their financial cousins so to speak. And the corporate media has no interest in showing indigenous peoples in solidarity or its support from other groups of working people; it undercuts popular stereotypes.
What is also unique is that over 300 Indian nations and thousands of Native peoples have joined the Standing Rock Nation in this epic battle of the people versus Big business and finance capital. The unity of the Indian nations is almost as important as the fight. Our native brothers and sisters are at the point of the spear and we would do well to solidarize with them in this fight.
We have to be absolutely clear about what’s at stake here, if the capitalists are allowed to strip the environment in their headlong rush for profit we will all suffer. Notice they never dig or try to tote oil into their own backyard. The really rich seem to be immune to the consequences of destroying the environment. Maybe after they successfully exploit this one, they are in hopes of finding other planets to exploit, it’s what the Mars exploration is about.
One farm neighbor proving North American a-historicity and ignorance has no bounds, said about the “water protectors” “They’re on corps land, which they’re not supposed to be on.” .
justice then peace .