us military strikes on other nations

US Missile Strike on Syria

“I understand that the humanitarian crisis in Syria is horrifying. But it is critical to understand that this US military action could trigger international war with China, India, and Russia. We entered WWI 100 years ago today. It seems the world has learned nothing since.

Did you really believe them when they told you the cause? Did you really believe that this war would end wars?”

On This Day: June 19

Juneteenth

  • 1862: U.S. Congress prohibits slavery in United States territories.
  • 1865: Juneteenth: The day that slaves in Texas & Louisiana learned they’d been freed.
  • 1886: Trial of eight anarchists for the Haymarket bombing begins in Chicago.
  • 1896: Anarchist José Domingo Gómez Rojas was born in Santiago, Chile. He was a poet and a member of the Federación Obrera de Chile (Workers’ Federation of Chile) and the Chilean IWW.
  • 1902: Silk workers striking in Paterson, NJ, over wages & working conditions escalates into a riot.
  • 1911: Federales and Maderistas retake Mexicali, Baja California from anarchist rebels led by Ricardo Flores Magón.
  • 1914: Anarchsit Luísa Adão was born.
  • 1924: First ever Canadian postal workers’ strike.
  • 1934: Sit-down strike by workers at General Tire Co in Akron, Ohio.
  • 1937: Women’s Day Massacre: During the Great Ohio Steel Strike in Youngstown, Ohio, police attack the picketline which was filled with strikers and their families. Sixteen are killed.
  • 1938: RCMP & Vancouver police tear gas & club Relief Project Workers Union strikers’ protest.
  • 1945: Burmese opposition leader and democracy campaigner Aung San Suu Kyi. born in Yangon, Myanmar (Burma.
  • 1953: Black community of Baton Rouge begins bus boycott.
  • 1953: Four-day general strike by International Longshore and Warehouse Union protesting convictions of Hawaii Seven under Anti-communist Smith Act.
  • 1968: “Solidarity Day” protest at Resurrection City draws 55,000 participants.
  • 1969: Protests during inauguration of Richard Nixon.
  • 1981: Ukrainian anarchist Senya Fleshin dies in Mexico City.
  • 1981: Soldiers kill 200 Mayans in Coy, Huehuetenango, Guatemala.
  • 1982: Operation Homecoming: 800-1,000 landowners re-occupied their home islands on Kwajalein, Roi-Namur, and the islands of the Mid-Corridor group in the Marshall Islands. Police arrested about 15 people but the arrests did not discourage others.
  • 1985: Gunmen fire on US military & businessmen in San Salvador because of “the interventionist policy carried out by President Reagan”.
  • 1991: Tanong Po-arn, Thai trade union leader campaigning for national social security disappears after military coup. He is never found.
  • 1996: Kia workers strike over wages, shutting down much of South Korea’s auto industry.
  • 1997: Cops raid anarchist centers and homes across Italy. The Italian Anarchist Federation denounced the raids as a thinly veiled attempt to intimidate and criminalize the movement.
  • 2002: Navleen Kumar murdered in Mumbai. He was a human rights activist in Maharashtra state, India.
  • 2009: Mass riots involving over 10,000 people occur in Shishou, China over corruption in city officials.
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The Colt Browning Model 1895 Machine Gun — The Potato Digger

An invention of John Browning, the Model 1895 was the first true machine gun design employed by the US military.  Unlike other designs which required a hand crank, the Model 1895 was a gas operated design (the first in history) which automatically cycled the action when the trigger was pulled. When fired, the gas from its discharge forced a hinged lever backwards, which operated the action.  The lever was very conspicuous, swinging back and forth as the machine gun fired.  The gun was often mounted on a tripod, but if placed in too low of a position the lever could dig into the ground as it fired.  As a result, the M1895 was given the nickname “potato digger”.

Taking influence from the Maxim machine gun design, the M1895 was belt fed, unlike earlier designs which used a hopper.  Its firing was set at 450 rounds per minute, rather slow, but the M1895 could fire much faster.  All that inhibited it was overheating.  Originally the M1895 was chambered for 6mm Lee Navy, but then was chambered for other US military rounds such as .30-40 Krag, .30-03, and .30-06.  Many of these machine guns were also produced for export to other nations such as the UK, Russia, Italy, Spain, and Latin American countries.  As as result many were manufactured in 7x57 Mauser, .303 British, 7.62x54R, and 6.5 Carcano.

The M1895 saw used by American military forces during the Boxer Rebellion, Spanish American War, the Philippine American Wars, and World War I.  They were also noted for being extensively used by the Boers during the Boer Wars, by Mexico during the Mexican Revolution,  and the Russian Empire during World War I.  They were also notorious for being used by strike breakers during the infamous Ludlow Massacre.  In 1914 at Ludlow, Colorado 1,200 coal miners from the Colorado Fuel & Iron Company were on strike, and had set up camps with their families. Agents of the company stormed the camp with cars mounted with M1895 machine guns, killing 25.  

What Exactly is going on in Tokyo Right Now?

Ok kids, listen up. I’m about to explain to you, to the best of my ability, why there are 40,000 people protesting in Tokyo’s Nagata-cho as I type this, why it matters, and why you should be talking about it, too.

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What Started This Protest?

The short answer –> Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has proposed a round-about way of changing Article 9 of Japan’s constitution, which basically states that Japan will never go to war ever again. This constitution was written by US officials in Japan after WW2 and is actually more balanced than America’s own constitution in certain ways (there is equal pay for women, for example). There have been various Nationalist (think Japanese Tea Party-esque displays) public demonstrations supporting Japan having the ability to go to war again- usually subtly, or not so subtly, naming out potential foes such as China and Korea. But none of that compares to what’s going on right now in Nagatacho AGAINST any changes to Article 9. Last Sunday, a man sat himself on top of a bridge in Shinjuku, protested the changes, and then set himself on fire over all this.
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(The man survived. He’s now being sued by the government for damage to public property)

The long, complicated answer –> Japan has had problems with its top government officials for nearly 10 years now. After a long string of PMs resigning, Abe (who was originally one of those resigning PMs) was reelected and has stayed in power this time the longest in the past several years. Until this issue with Article 9 came about, the biggest issue was the Fukushima nuclear plant, which is still hemorrhaging radioactive water to the point where workers have temporarily given up trying to stop it and recently told everyone that they were now ‘purposefully’ dumping contaminated water into the pacific ocean (although now the current plan is to create an “ice wall” - yes “ice wall”- around the affected ground water in an attempt to stop it. Somehow). TEPCO (Tokyo Electric Power Company), who owns the plant and has been responsible for the cleanup, has failed repeatedly to do their job and has consistently rejected outside international help for reasons, at this point, that can only be attributed to hurt national pride.

At the beginning of this year, Abe’s administration passed a 'State Secrets’ law which forbade any publishing of Japanese 'state secrets’ which conveniently included anything to do with nuclear sciences (this would included Fukushima). Not only is this bill extremely vague, leaving it open for the government to essentially call anything they want a state secret, but as I recall, about three days after this was passed, the news was suddenly reporting that all was well at the nuclear plant.

At the end of LAST year, Abe announced that he purchased some battleships- specifically aircraft carriers- that had actually been seen floating off the coast of different parts of Japan up to a month before they were publicly announced. On a personal note, I have seen those ships, and last month I saw one other as well floating off my local waters. Below is a picture I was able to grab while on the train:

While the state secrets law riled up academic circles who claimed that the government had just eliminated the right to free speech, it didn’t gain a lot of news coverage and eventually faded away. It might be worth noting here, too, that NHK (Japan’s BBC, essentially) is chaired by government officials- some of whom Abe seems to have personally appointed.

With the state secrets law now in place, which has limited what one has to assume are more 'negative’ stories and updates about the Fukushima nuclear plant issue (which its admitted failure by the government would oblige Abe to step down as prime minister), we’re brought to the main course- significantly altering/reinterpreting/removing Article 9 of the Japanese constitution:

“The Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution Chapter ii. Renunciation of War Article 9. Aspiring sincerely to an international peace based on justice and order, the Japanese people forever renounce war as a sovereign right of the nation and the threat or use of force as means of settling international disputes. In order to accomplish the aim of the preceding paragraph, land, sea, and air forces, as well as other war potential, will never be maintained. the right of belligerency of the state will not be recognized.”



Now, Japan DOES have what is essentially a National Guard, which participates in non-combat efforts in both their own country and abroad, so Japan is not totally helpless here- they’re just confined to their own borders when it comes to personally rolling out ammunition (which happens whenever North Korea makes a missile threat where the path of the missile is supposed to go over Japan- the US military assists in this temporary defense bubble whenever it has to go up).

What Abe wants to do, however, is “reinterpret” this article in a way that allows Japan to expand and use their military like any other respectable country does. That seems fairly reasonable, right? Except that Abe’s chosen route to accomplish this goal is to go around the Democratic process, ignoring the public’s opinions, and holding what are basically closed-door votes amongst a group of people who are already on his side, instead of, say, passing an actual constitutional amendment instead. This has made people angry- people that might agree with having the military restored are angry because of how shadily it’s being done, and people who *don’t* agree are angry because they don’t want Japan to go back to war and they *don’t* like Abe’s tactics.

Then there’s the potential US angle to all this. Paranoia over China seems to have gotten so high that there’s the rather strong theory going around that it was actually the US behind the state secrets bill getting passed and that it’s the US again behind trying to restore military rights to Japan. While that seems like a giant big ball of irony and contradictions, this handy image popped up on Twitter:

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(I’m so sorry- there’s such a rush of info going on right now that I’m not sure where this diagram came from but it makes a point.)

China, as many of you may know, has been relentlessly heckling neighboring countries such as Japan, Korea, and The Philipenes over who has rights over tiny islands (some of them literally just rocks jutting out of the sea) that nobody lives on. Even the largest of these islands (Japan was particularly riled up over an island it has dubbed “Takeshima”) are uninhabited except for wild goats. Japan has unfortunately taken the bait over what has been a magnificently farcical dispute and decided to engage China over these useless islands. At the height of the Takeshima dispute, NHK took to telling you the weather for the island with the regular forecasts (remember- nobody there but wild goats), and airing documentaries about the occasional Tokugawa-era fishermen who used to camp out for the day to fish there before going home again. One of these, which I caught, consisted of nothing but old guys sitting around talking while background footage perpetually looped showing nothing but these goats frolicking around on the rocky terrain of the island. That one went on for at least an hour. It was, in a word, ridiculous. So while China has even started going so far as trying to “reinforce” its claims and even “create” new islands by dumping sand in the ocean, Japan hasn’t exactly been mature about the situation either.
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(“Stop war!” “Protect Peace!”)

Basically, guys……I could go on, but it would probably just end up going in one big circle. Maybe I’ve not presented this the best way possible, and I truly do apologize for that, but hopefully this has helped to explain a few things. What I will say, though, is that after everything I’ve mentioned above, things have piled up so badly and so messily that for at least the second night in a row, 10,000, and now reports say around 40,000 people have taken to protesting outside government offices in Tokyo, and other smaller demonstrations have taken place in at least Osaka and Nagasaki as well. They’re fed up, they’re chanting for Shinzo Abe to leave Article 9 alone and to resign. They’re calling him a facist. They’re mocking him with Nazi symbols. Japan- today’s Japanese- which is a people of almost bottomless patience and calm and who will go out of their way so that you never have to feel awkward or uncomfortable about anything- these people are out there and they’re fed up. They’re doing these things which are radical for them because they don’t want this to happen. And the media here is in such an iron grip that the guy who set himself on fire on Sunday in Shibuya and these protestors are lucky to get even a brief mention on the nightly news. 40,000+ people out there. And they need more people to spread the word.
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ALL PROTEST IMAGES (**EXCEPT for the individual being carted off by police- that one came from a friend who does not wish to be named) USED WITH PERMISSION AND BELONG TO @KjeldDuits AND @asianskys ON TWITTER. These two people are on the ground posting live updates so go follow them for more info and even more pictures.


****UPDATE POST 9/27/14 :: >CLICK HERE<

———>> If you find that you have a complaint regarding something in this post, please check out this post right here which includes pretty much all the things that have been brought to my attention and some of the conversation that’s already gone on about it. Thanks again to everyone for sharing and hope that helps some. (11/29/14)

anonymous asked:

So what CAN a president do? What do they actually do?

A lot. 

That’s the truth of it. The President can do a whole fucking lot.

The most direct presidential power is over the MILITARY. While technically the President cannot declare war—like I said, under the Constitution, only Congress can declare war—99% of military engagements these days do not technically constitute “war” and as such do not need congressional approval. Drone strikes, for example, do not count as “war”. Any time the National Guard is called in in response to a state of emergency or told to stand down (like with the Dakota Access Pipeline) does not count as war. Therefore, the President can unilaterally make those decisions.

The President defines the country’s war doctrine. This determines how invasive the US is going to be with regard to other nations—how aggressive and what kind of response there is to ISIL, for example.

Furthermore, the presidential history is littered with examples of the president going ahead and initiating conflicts/military actions/etc. The president does have established authority to commit our forces to defend against a sudden attack. Which sounds great, but it also ends up leaving Congress or the judiciary to hurry up and try and curtail things later—for example, the Supreme Court’s 2006 Hamdan vs. Rumsfeld ruling made the Bush administration’s special military commissions unconstitutional, but that was two years after they were established, and we still see their echoes in the Military Commissions Act of 2009, and other proposed legislation about how we treat foreign detainees.

Which leads me to another significant chunk of presidential power, FOREIGN AFFAIRS. The President is not just a representative of the country, but can in fact enter into treaties with foreign nations, though they must be subsequently ratified by Congress. (Executives Agreements, however, do not—for example, the US’s participation in NAFTA is through executive agreement. Any president could withdraw us from NAFTA after giving the other parties adequate notice.)

The President also—just by nature of his office—also wields an incredible amount of INFLUENCE on the other branches of government, particularly at the federal level. The President makes appointments for the other department heads and for the judiciary (though they must in turn be approved by Congress) so he’s in many ways the de facto CEO of the government, surrounded by other C-suite executives. And, like a CEO, he gets to set the tone and mission of the company.

(”The company” here being “this country we all live in”)

This becomes all the more significant when the President and Congress are of the same party; generally they share the same legislative agenda, and therefore it’s much easier to get that tone and mission unified—and therefore, pass more legislation, get it approved by the President, and move your agenda along.

(Again, not to hammer home on this, but down-ticket voting is always, always important.)

This is a really brief list and a very general overview, but hopefully this makes it a little clearer, that while a president’s power is limited, they’re still one of the highest offices in the United States, and have the authority that goes with it.

Eid Mubarak and much love to the Muslims in Nigeria, Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone who are currently battling this tragic surge of Ebola and have had their plight minimized to represenible jokes and or outright dismissal in comparison to hyberpolized fear by Westerners.

To the Somalis who have had their nation’s autonomy vandalized by Israeli manufactured, US purchased and Ethiopian hosted drone strikes as well as genocidal foreign military presence from other African nations and imperial powers.

To Black Muslims in America who have to wish their family members a joyous holiday over collect calls, if at all because the prison industrial complex has rendered Black bodies disposable and implicitly recreated a system of labor exploitation. Who deal with alienation at masjids and have to continously bite their tongues in religious gatherings at racist comments because they’ll be ostracized and labeled divisive.

To the Muslims in Central Africa Republic and Ethiopia who are faced with imminent threat from Christian supremacist militias and government approved Islamophobia, respectively.

To Muslims of the entire diaspora whose political turmoil and strife are regularly perpetuated by global antiblackness, regional Islamophobia and ignored/stifled out of issues in relation to “ummah”.

May the Almighty grant you the strength and patience to persevere through all odds.

“View of the carrier Yorktown (CV-10) and other ships steaming off Kyushu on March 18, 1945. On this date 16 carriers if Task Force 58 under the command of Vice Admiral Marc A. Mitscher began launching strikes to neutralize Japanese air power prior to the Allied invasion of Okinawa on April 1, 1945. In 5 days of operation, U.S. naval aviators destroyed 482 enemy planes.”

(National Naval Aviation Museum: 1996.488.243.023)