Clinton killed a half million kids with sanctions, Bush invaded Iraq & Afghanistan, Obama drone bombed a half dozen countries, but “Muslims are so violent.” While US soldiers were emptying clips into pregnant mothers, bombing weddings, and dropping thousand pound bombs on buildings filled with civilians, 1.5 billion people were being smeared as violent for crimes they didn’t commit. While the military used cluster bombs, white phosphorous & depleted uranium on the occupied, Fox News was preaching that Islam is the problem. When Israel was massacring Lebanese civilians by the dozen, the US was express shipping weapons over to enhance the slaughter. 2.3 million in jail/prison, the crime bill, gutting public housing, racist drug laws, executing Black people every 28 hours, that’s violence. “Freedom of speech!” But tens of millions of people don’t have the freedom to live without the US military bombing them. “Freedom of speech!” And freedom to spy, freedom to wiretap, freedom to infiltrate mosques, freedom to mass incarcerate, freedom to bankrupt the sick, freedom to deny affordable education.
—  Remi Kanazi via Facebook
"France isn't a racist/is a socialist country!"
  • France:*only forgave haiti's slave debt /after/ their economy was destroyed by a natural disaster leaving them without the means to make payments*
  • France:*still holds former african colonies in debt*
  • France:*monopolizes resource industries in those colonies, literally preventing the people who live in those countries from owning and profiting from the land and resources in them*
  • France:*has one of the world's largest armies which it employs second only to the us in the middle east in defense of oil assets*
  • France:*controlled the colonial government in south vietnam and committed many of the war crimes of the vietnam war to defend it*
  • France:*holds heavy influence over multiple (often muslim-majority) countries in the middle-east, south asia, and northern africa but has the gall to make muslims unwelcome /in france/*

sometimes i feel there’s a tendency to forget that Christianity is a religion that was born in the Middle East…not a religion founded by Europe. Many people in the MENA were Christian when Europe was still worshipping its pagan gods and polytheistic pantheons. yes, it is important to wrestle with how Europeans, after they converted to Christianity due to Roman imperialism, used it themselves as a tool for their own imperialism. but conflating the history of Christianity with whiteness comes off to me as actually a reproduction of white supremacy itself. like we’re attributing things to Europeans/whiteness again, and forgetting its Middle-Eastern roots. Eurocentric history, no?

this is actively harmful when it leads to the notion that Christians everywhere = privileged. they are not- MENA Christians are facing genocidal violence at the hands of ISIS right now, for instance. these people are not white or Westerners who can escape from this via Western privilege. If we go further back in time, the Ottoman Empire’s genocide was targeted at Armenians, Assyrians and Greeks, who were Christian minorities in what’s now modern Turkey. 

Coup Plot in Venezuela Thwarted

A coup plot against the Venezuelan government has been foiled, with both civilians and members of the military detained, President Nicolas Maduro revealed Thursday in a televised address.

Those involved were being paid in U.S. dollars, and one of the suspects had been granted a visa to enter the United States should the plot fail, Maduro said.

Venezuela’s president stated that the coup plotters already had a “transitional” government and program lined up once the plan, which included bombings on the Miraflores Palace and the teleSUR offices in Caracas, as well as assassinations of members of the opposition, Maduro and others, was carried out.

Maduro explained that a video of masked military officials speaking out against the government had been recorded, which was set to be released after the planned assassination was carried out.

Venezuelan Minister of Defense Vladimir Padrino Lopez stated via his Twitter account that the armed forces remain loyal to the constitutional government.

There is a reason Osama bin Laden was brought back dead rather than alive. The U.S. government didn’t want to try him. They didn’t want bin Laden, a former partner of the CIA, to recall in intimate detail the U.S. sponsored terrorism in the Middle East that has killed millions. They didn’t want to remember that before the Taliban they funded, trained, and partnered with the Mujahideen and countless other militias in proxy wars with the USSR, devastating and destabilizing entire regions in the process. LEAST of all did the U.S. government want a lesson in historical accuracy to rally the victims of U.S. oppression around the fact that AmeriKKKa has never given a shit about brown bodies — not here, not anywhere.

Nope. They didn’t want any of that. What the U.S. government DID want was a trophy for U.S. imperialism. They wanted to hang a dead body in the public square. They wanted a dead body because DEAD BODIES DON’T TALK.

This is why Fred Hampton never spoke again. Why Dr. King never spoke again. Why Malcolm X never spoke again. Why Huey P. Newton never spoke again. Why George Jackson, John Huggins, Bunchy Carter, Sylvester Bell, and so many others never spoke again. Any threat to the hegemony of AmeriKKKa’s narrative that it is the benevolent land of milk and honey — of democracy and freedom — MUST be dealt with.

The ways in which the New Atheism serves imperialism are manifold. It bolsters the “clash of civilizations” narrative used to justify ventures like the invasion of Iraq and the need for repressive measures like state surveillance. Moreover, in presenting itself as a disinterested defense of reason, it lends such arguments a credibility they would lack in the hands of commentators from the political or cultural right. Finally, it shifts the focus from the social ills wrought by unjust economic arrangements to an external singularity called “religion.”

Beneath its superficial rationalism, then, the New Atheism amounts to little more than an intellectual defense of empire and a smokescreen for the injustices of global capitalism. It is a parochial universalism whose potency lies in its capacity to appear simultaneously iconoclastic, dissenting, and disinterested, while channeling vulgar prejudices, promoting imperial projects, and dressing up banal truisms as deep insights.

Hitchens, Harris, and Dawkins may masquerade as intellectual insurgents, leading a crusade against the insipid tolerance of liberal politics. But ultimately they are apologists for some of its most destructive tendencies.

The Ottoman Empire was no less an empire than its British or French or Belgian counterparts. The Ottoman Empire was not diametrically opposite those imperial endeavors and was absolutely not an example of indigenous, non-white, anti-white statebuilding. It was an empire, rigidly hierarchical and brutally violent, monarchal and oppressive and at times genocidal. You do history and those people that suffered (and were destroyed) under Ottoman rule a great disservice in pretending otherwise.

anonymous asked:

given the news about cuba-us relations are you also deeply worried about assata?

As agents of the U.S. imperialist state have already made clear, the steps proposed by the Obama administration to “normalize” diplomatic relations with Cuba will be leveraged to create a new opportunity to apprehend Assata Shakur.

New Jersey Police Superintendent Rick Fuentes said in a statement today that “We view any changes in relations with Cuba as an opportunity to bring her back to the United States to finish her sentence for the murder of a New Jersey State Trooper in 1973”.

FBI Agent Aaron Ford also reiterated today that “As long as there is an active warrant for [Assata Shakur], the FBI will continue to pursue justice, regardless of how long it takes, and are hopeful any changes in relations between the United States and Cuba, will assist us with her apprehension and return”

Nevertheless, whether the Cuban government would agree to extradite Assata is unknown. There are currently dozens of nations across the globe that maintain diplomatic relations with the U.S. yet do not have any formal extradition treaties set up. Thus, normalized diplomatic relations do not necessarily guarantee that Cuba will extradite Assata or anyone living in political asylum in Cuba. However, given that Assata is listed on the FBI’s most wanted terrorist list, the U.S. could be planning on undertaking exhaustive and unprecedented measures to coerce Cuba into extraditing her.

Overall, there is a great deal of uncertainty regarding what will happen to Assata. As revolutionaries and anti-imperialists, we should honor Assata’s legacy by organizing and renewing calls to demand her freedom and the freedom of all political prisoners. 

American Sniper: The Casualties of War Live Far Beyond the Grave | AmericaWakieWakie

American Sniper has been in theaters a while now. On the surface it is the story of a Navy SEAL named Chris Kyle, dubbed “The deadliest sniper in American history”, and his military exploits throughout the American invasion of Iraq. But beyond the conspicuous lobby for patriotism I saw a window into something else, something that the Joseph Goebbels (read: Clint Eastwood) of America cannot take credit for. I am reminded that not only does war steal the lives of countless people, but it murders the living too — of lives we could have lived. Films like American Sniper highlight that war-idolizing is a weapon of mass destruction, and when wielded on the spiritual and moral fronts of a war for our collective humanity, often the battle rips asunder the relationships we hold most dear. It is a reminder that when the dust settles and the shells are spent, the casualties of war live far beyond the grave.

Every Casualty Doesn’t Get Buried

When my brother first left for basic training he was 17. I was a year and a half younger, a soon-to-be sophomore in high school. With my Aunt, Uncle, and my cousins whom I had come to call sisters, we drove the six hour trip to the training grounds of the Army’s mechanized infantry units in Fort Benning, Georgia. It was a small place. Were it not for the military it would scarcely have a name. We had come because my brother was graduating from the first half of his training, this before he had even entered his senior year in high school. Everybody was really proud of him. I was proud of him.

Seeing him for the first time after a summer was emotional. I had never fully agreed with his choice to join the military; but, he being my blood, I had committed myself to supporting him and his decision. After all, the young man standing in fatigues before me had been through more with me than any person on the planet. Together we had weathered growing up brown in Mississippi, where if you were not white and you were not black, you were the exotic anomaly constantly berated with the probing and dehumanizing question of “What are you?” We had survived our father, a white man imbued with the racism of a poor Southerner who had eaten Jim Crow and whose yelling and long lectures came from the nightly bartering of his soul with a bottle. We lived through the divorces, survived foster care, endured the court battles, and had begun to work ourselves from the poverty we were born into.

Through all of that I thought this man deserved my support. But more than anything I knew if he were to one day see combat I would want to see him home again — alive. That if ever in some small way his return would rest upon a brother’s unconditional love, then I would see that love through no matter what. So when he left for his first tour in Iraq I did everything in my power to make sure he had what he needed to get back home — writing letters, getting his friends to write letters, sending him little things like baby wipes because that mattered in desert warfare. Some semblance of being clean after the grit of combat mattered. Whatever I could do to keep his spirits high, I did. I wanted the chance to wrestle with him again, to hug him and have a beer with him again, to tell him he is a good man and that he could be something else, if he wanted.

Time has a way of changing everything. Throughout his absence, despite my material support, I had become increasingly politicized. I questioned more than anything whether my brother’s potential death in Iraq would be defending my right to exist in a free and just world, or was he being used by the United States government as a cog in the most prolific machine of violence the planet has ever seen.

I remember getting a call from him one night after he had a fight with his partner. It seemed that nobody, not her, not our family, nobody but his follow servicemen and I were being supportive of the stressful re-entrance into civilian life. That night he bawled as he shared a gut-wrenching story about an Iraqi girl whom, along with her family, had been killed and dismembered into a pile for helping coalition troops through an IED field. He shared other stories with me too. He often wielded a 50 caliber machine gun fixed atop a Humvee. One bullet from that gun could blast a watermelon to mush. It can fire over 500 rounds per minute, I learned. He never said it, but I got the feeling that he took his own personal retribution on behalf of that girl.

At some point I understood that he must have been struggling to understand his choices, to recreate a code of morality he could live with, that made sense after his own was shattered by the brutality of what he had seen and done. He would be the one to have to live with those memories, nobody else. As I sat there holding him, struggling to understand his PTSD and the situations he had been in — the reality of shooting back when if you hesitated you would surely die — I could not shake the fact that every bullet sent from his gun, every life taken, was still in service of the American war machine.

That thought kept coming back to me. The more I revisited why America had invaded Iraq, the more I came to a conclusion which placed me fundamentally opposed to my brother’s continued enlistment. Rapidly it became a point of tension between us.

That tension culminated in a moment before his departure for his second tour in Iraq. He came to me with an impossible question, one that in hindsight could never have mended the distance emerging between us. In a heated discussion he asked me, “If I died in combat tomorrow, would you be proud of my service?” Everything in me curled with the stress of telling him what he needed to hear, to again shoulder being the support he would need, or being honest. It is a moment I still think about frequently. I replay it saying something different, but then I feel I would have betrayed myself and the millions whom have died at the hands of American imperialism. In the moment I told him “No” I lost the family I loved most.

Nothing between us has ever been the same. Every time I mull it over salt rubs deeper into the wound. I wince. I cry. I relive the pain of no longer knowing my brother, of knowing the War Machine ripped him from me. He is still in the military and I am still in the streets fighting American oppression. We chose different sides, and the palpable truth of it is our brotherhood took a bullet the day he enlisted.

The wound from it still bleeds. It bleeds every day.

Effective Propaganda Makes You Feel

Watching American Sniper makes me think about my brother. That’s the point of it: Propaganda done right makes you feel. It makes you engage in a moral dilemma with yourself. And if it is targeted with accurate knowledge of its audience, the dilemma will almost always resolve itself. It’s a bit like playing a rigged game — if you were not a part of rigging the game, then the only way to win is not to play. This is the effectiveness of Clint Eastwood’s film. It was made for White America and therefore it intentionally pulls at the heartstrings of the people who feverishly believe in the myth that America is the bastion of freedom and democracy, because that too was a myth made for White America. And they believe it so thoroughly that a film like American Sniper slams the door shut on any discussion to the contrary. I know so, because I share many of the lived experiences of white Americans.

In one of the opening scenes a young Chris Kyle is out hunting deer with his father. Kyle shoots a deer and then runs over to the dead animal through tall golden grass and amidst sparsely branched pine trees. He drops his rifle in his haste and his father commands “Get back here! You don’t ever leave your rifle in the dirt.” I knew that rule. My white father taught it to me before I was ten years old when I learned to hunt. The movie shifts to a scene in a church where a pastor is preaching the ways of God, that none can know them because man cannot see with the eyes of God. I knew that one too. A church full of white people told me this years before I was baptized into a Southern congregation.

Then the film snaps to a scene where Kyle is sitting with his family at the supper table. His father breaks off into a lecture about the three types of people in the world: the Sheep, the Wolf, and the Sheep Dog. He says the Sheep believe evil does not exist and if it were to show up on their doorstep they would not know how to defend themselves. He goes on to say then you have predators whom use violence to prey on the weak. These are the Wolves. Lastly, he says there are those “Blessed with the gift of aggression and overpowering need to protect the flock. These men are the rare breed who live to confront the wolf. They are the Sheep Dog.” He takes his belt off and slams it on the table and announces, “We ain’t raising no Sheep in this house and I’ll kick your ass if you become a Wolf!” Kyle’s little brother has a bruised eye, so his father questions them both only to find that Kyle had intervened in his brother getting beat up by the playground bully. His father says if somebody else starts a fight; they have his permission finish it. I learned that one too. My white father told me “Don’t throw the first punch, but if somebody hits you first, you better finish it.”

These three scenes frame the entire movie for the emotional engagement of a specific audience. You see, the first scene tells us that in the eyes of White America, only they have family values. Kyle learning to use a gun at such an early age is him gaining the values, which serve doubly as the literal tools, those which can only be acquired through the specific lived experiences of white Americans, necessary to defend freedom and democracy. The second scene tells us that White America’s God, the one true White Christian God, is the only giver of righteousness and that righteousness has been bestowed upon Kyle to use at his discretion. We are not supposed to question whether this is good or otherwise, or WHY it would be good, because we cannot see through the eyes of God. And finally, we learn that Kyle is a Sheep Dog imbued with all the tools necessary, with the “gift of aggression”, to do God’s will of defending America.

Ultimately this tells us the film is not even about Chris Kyle. The young man turned sniper is the physical incarnation of White America. Viewed through the third scene, Kyle becomes the stand-in for America’s imperialism, the embodiment of itself as the Sheep Dog bestowed with the “gift of aggression” and the overpowering charge to protect the Western way of life by any means necessary, and, of course, with God’s blessing. At this point we have to ask the obvious question: If Chris Kyle represents the Sheep Dog of White America, who then is the Wolf?

In overwhelmingly jingoistic fashion, film maker Clint Eastwood answers repeatedly: Muslims.

After watching Kyle — aka, America — repeatedly kill one Iraqi after another, all of whom miraculously are guilty of some crime, it is hard to arrive at any other conclusion. No matter how wrapped in star-spangled banners, Eastwood essentially tells us the real crime is being born brown, Iraqi, and Muslim. We are not supposed to question whether these things are actually criminal or punishable with death. We are not allowed to ask WHY because we are not meant to understand the God-guided ways of America. But that is the whole point of it: You cannot win a rigged game, remember. You can only win if you built the game, and those who built American Sniper want you to walk away with a specific belief system, namely:

  • White America, like Chris Kyle, is good, just, and knows best.
  • White Americans, like Chris Kyle, who love their country support American government.
  • Real Americans, like Chris Kyle, are patriotic and express their support.
  • White American lives, like Chris Kyle’s life, are more important than Muslim lives.

This belief system is everywhere. American imperialism is framed in such a way that when the United States commits violence against Muslims, it appears to White America as if the Sheep Dog is simply protecting a defenseless herd. This is the active dissemination of white supremacy and Islamophobia. From it Americans like Chris Kyle accrue social capital and power within a conception of Islam that perpetuates Muslim dehumanization and murder. Completing the cycle, White America, after participating in the process of dehumanizing Muslims slain by United States military personnel, then offers sympathy, material support, and memorialization to the most lethal of war veterans.

American Sniper is meant only to bolster that belief system by exploiting our lived experiences. It does so in such a way that if we do not side with Chris Kyle and the American War Machine, we may just be deciding our own brothers and sisters are facilitators of the evil we seek to eradicate from the world. For most of us the thought that we, or the ones we love, are the problem is unconscionable.

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