|Progressive Calendar 12.26.06||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: David Shove (shove001tc.umn.edu)|
|Date: Tue, 26 Dec 2006 15:13:28 -0800 (PST)|
P R O G R E S S I V E C A L E N D A R 12.26.06 1. Amy Goodman/CTV 12.26 5pm 2. Xmas talk/cheap! 12.26 6:30pm 3. Bridge vigil 12.27 4:30pm 4. GLBT reading 12.27 7pm 5. Eagan peace vigil 12.28 4:30pm 6. Northtown vigil 12.28 5pm 7. Candlelight vigil 12.28 6:30pm 8. Peace yoga 12.28 7:45pm 9. MichaelLerner/CTV 12.28 8:30pm 10. Lang/McGovern - To surge or not to surge? 11. Marjorie Cohn - Don't count on the Democrats to end the Iraq war 12. William Katz - The first US foreign invasion: seizing Florida in 1816 13. James Petras - Why condemning Israel/Zionist lobby is so important 14. ed - Santa Claus (poem) 15. ed - LEP (poem) --------1 of 15-------- From: Eric Angell <eric-angell [at] riseup.net> Subject: Amy Goodman/CTV 12.26 5pm Dear St. Paul Neighborhood Network (SPNN) viewers: "Our World In Depth" airs at 5 pm and midnight each Tuesday and 10 am each Wednesday on SPNN Channel 15. Below are the scheduled shows through the end of 2006. 12/26 and 12/27 'Amy Goodman: "Static" Tour' (Part 2). Host of Democracy Now! Talk given 9/8 at St. Joan of Arc Church. "Our World In Depth" features analysis of public affairs with consideration of and participation from Twin Cities area activists. The show is mostly local and not corporately influenced! For information about future programming of "Our World In Depth", please send an e-mail to eric-angell [at] riseup.net. (PS It might be better than PBS.) --------2 of 15-------- From: Patty Guerrero <pattypax [at] earthlink.net> Subject: Xmas talk - cheap! 12.26 6:30pm ad lib talk Open Discussion. The day after Christmas. we can tell each other how our "alternative Christmas" ideas panned out. Pax Salons ( http://justcomm.org/pax-salon ) are held (unless otherwise noted in advance): Tuesdays, 6:30 to 8:30 pm. Mad Hatter's Tea House, 943 W 7th, St Paul, MN Salons are free but donations encouraged for program and treats. Call 651-227-3228 or 651-227-2511 for information. --------3 of 15-------- From: wamm <wamm [at] mtn.org> Subject: Bridge vigil 12.27 4:30pm Wednesday, December 27, 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. (this is an ongoing vigil) Lake Street/Marshall Avenue Bridge, spanning the Mississippi River between Minneapolis and St. Paul. Come to Marshall Avenue (St. Paul) side of the bridge so that we can greet you. According to Iraqi-American Sami Rasouli, "Day after day for the last three years and a half or so, by storming houses, detaining innocent people, killing innocent people, women, children, bombing them from the air or from the land, building and peppering the Iraq cities, provinces, by checkpoint. We are not stupid here. More than 80 to 85% now, Iraqis asking the U.S. to leave. American media talk about this with limitation, but what we see here are corpses and dead bodies." Rasouli says if U.S. troops withdrew from Iraq, "The 1,300 al Qaeda members that the Iraq Study Group mentioned would leave and have no business in Iraq any more. They are here to target American forces." Short gathering in a circle east of the bridge after the vigil to hear about more peace and justice events and issues. December is a critical month. Everyone receiving this e-mail is invited to come one Wednesday this December-of course, if you can come more often, that would be wonderful. (Also: every member of WAMM is asked to commit to one Wednesday during the month of December, if they possibly can.) Let us Minnesotans show our current representatives in Washington and the incoming congress that we want an end to the war and occupation of Iraq not later after even more death and destruction, but NOW! FFI: Call WAMM 612-827-5364. --------4 of 15-------- From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at] visi.com> Subject: GLBT reading 12.27 7pm GLBT READING SERIES Christina Henning and Antay Bilgutay Carol Connolly Reading Series Wednesday, December 27, 2006 7:00 PM at Intermedia Arts 2822 Lyndale Ave S, Minneapolis Featuring: CHRISTINA EILEEN HENNING grew up in Northfield, Minnesota, earned her B.A. in Writing at Bethel University and attended UM-Duluth to study Spanish and Education. She writes short fiction, poetry,and personal essays, but her work also includes children's picture books, and honest, unapologetic commentaries. ANTAY BILGUTAY grew up in Minnesota and graduated magna cum laude from Yale University with a degree in Theater Studies and English. He is the author of six plays. His nondramatic writings have appeared in Speakeasy and Rake Magazine. Hosted by John Medeiros and Andrea Jenkins. All Carol Connolly Readings are free and open to the public. --------5 of 15-------- From: Greg and Sue Skog <skograce [at] mtn.org> Subject: Eagan peace vigil 12.28 4:30pm CANDLELIGHT PEACE VIGIL EVERY THURSDAY from 4:30-5:30pm on the Northwest corner of Pilot Knob Road and Yankee Doodle Road in Eagan. We have signs and candles. Say "NO to war!" The weekly vigil is sponsored by: Friends south of the river speaking out against war. --------6 of 15-------- From: EKalamboki [at] aol.com Subject: Northtown vigil 12.28 5pm NORTHTOWN Peace Vigil every Thursday 5-6pm, at the intersection of Co. Hwy 10 and University Ave NE (SE corner across from Denny's), in Blaine. Communities situated near the Northtown Mall include: Blaine, Mounds View, New Brighton, Roseville, Shoreview, Arden Hills, Spring Lake Park, Fridley, and Coon Rapids. We'll have extra signs. For more information people can contact Evangelos Kalambokidis by phone or email: (763)574-9615, ekalamboki [at] aol.com. --------7 of 15-------- From: wamm <wamm [at] mtn.org> Subject: Candlelight vigil 12.28 6:30pm Candlelight Vigil for the Children of Iraq and Other Child Victims of War Thursday, December 28, 6:30 p.m. St. Joan of Arc Church, 4537 Third Avenue South, Minneapolis. You are invited to join with others in this candlelight service to remember the children, who are always the first victims of war. Organized by: Twin Cities Peace Campaign. Co-sponsored by: St. Joan of Arc/WAMM Peacemakers and many other religious organizations. --------8 of 15-------- From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com> Subject: Peace yoga 12.28 7:45pm Thursday, 12/28 (and every 4th Thursday), 7:45 to 9 pm, Dialogue about Peace and listening to Deepok Chopra's set, pre-register at Body Prayers Yoga, 9201 Lexington Ave N, #5C, Circle Pines. IndigaArt [at] aol.com or 763-413-0612. --------9 of 15-------- From: altera vista <alteravista [at] earthlink.net> Subject: Michael Lerner/CTV 12.28 8:30pm ST PAUL cable station 15 on Thursday, Dec. 28, 8:30 pm. "Creating a Culture of Love, Peace, and Justice"--speech by Rabbi Michael Lerner, founder of the Network of Spiritual Progressives, author of The Left Hand of God: Taking Back Our Country from the Religious Right, speaking at the Midwest Conference of Spiritual Progressives, Wesley Methodist Church, Mpls, Nov. 18, 2006. --------10 of 15-------- Wrong Answer to the Wrong Question To Surge or Not to Surge? By Col. W. PATRICK LANG and RAY McGOVERN CountedrPunch December 25, 2006 Robert Gates' report to the White House on his discussions in Iraq this past week is likely to provide the missing ingredient for the troop ''surge'' into Iraq favored by the ''decider'' team of Vice President Dick Cheney and President George W. Bush. When the understandable misgivings voiced by top U.S. military officials made it obvious that the surge cart had been put before the mission-objective horse, the president was forced to concede, as he did at his press conference on Wednesday, ``There's got to be a specific mission that can be accomplished with the addition of more troops, before I agree on that strategy.'' The president had led off the press conference by heightening expectations for the Gates visit to Iraq, noting that ''Secretary Gates is going to be an important voice in the Iraq strategy review that's under way.'' No doubt Gates was given the job of hammering out a ''specific mission'' with U.S. generals and Iraqi leaders, and he is past master at sensing and delivering on his bosses' wishes. Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's aides have given Western reporters an outline of what the ''specific mission'' may look like. It is likely to be cast as implementation of Maliki's ''new vision,'' under which U.S. troops would target primarily Sunni insurgents in outer Baghdad neighborhoods, while Iraqi forces would battle for control of inner Baghdad. A prescription for bloodbath, it has the advantage, from the White House perspective, of preventing the Iraqi capital from total disintegration until Bush and Cheney are out of office. Well before Tuesday, when Gates flew off to Iraq, it was clear that Cheney and Bush remained determined to stay the course (without using those words) for the next two years. And the president's Washington Post interview on Tuesday, as well has his press conference Wednesday strengthened that impression. In his prepared statement for the Post, Bush cast the conflict in Iraq as an enduring ''ideological struggle,'' the context in which he disclosed that he is now ``inclined to believe that we do need to increase our troops, the Army and Marines.'' Inconsistent message Lest the Post reporters miss the point, the president added, ''I'm going to keep repeating this over and over again, that I believe we're in an ideological struggle . . . that our country will be dealing with for a long time.'' In the same interview, he described ''sectarian violence'' in Iraq as ``obviously the real problem we face.'' At his press conference the next day, the president repeated the same dual, inconsistent message, which went unchallenged by the White House press corps. Pick your poison: Do you prefer ''sectarian violence'' as the real problem? Or is it ''ideological struggle?'' The White House seems to be depending on a credulous press and Christmas-party eggnog to get by on this. Incoming Senate majority leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said last Sunday that he could ''go along'' with the widely predicted surge in U.S. troops in Iraq, but for only two or three months. Is it conceivable that Reid doesn't know that this is about the next two years - not months? Egged on by ''full-speed-ahead'' Cheney, Bush is determined that the war not be lost while he is president. And he is commander-in-chief. Events, however, are fast overtaking White House preferences and are moving toward denouement well before two more years are up. `Get with the program' Virtually everyone concedes that the war cannot be won militarily. And yet the so-called ''neoconservatives'' whom Bush has listened to in the past are arguing strongly for a surge in troop strength. A generation from now, our grandchildren will have difficulty writing history papers on the oxymoronic debate now raging on how to surge/withdraw our troops into/from the quagmire in Iraq. The generals in Iraq may have already been ordered by the White House to ''get with the program'' on surging. Just as they ''never asked for more troops'' at earlier stages of the war, they are likely to be instant devotees of a surge, once they smell the breezes from Washington. As for Gates, it is a safe bet that whatever personal input he may dare to offer will be dwarfed by Cheney's. Taking issue with ''deciders'' has never been Gates' strong suit. Whether Gates realizes it or not, the U.S. military is about to commit hara-kiri by ''surge.'' The generals should know that, once an ''all or nothing'' offensive like the ''surge'' apparently contemplated has begun, there is no turning back. It will be ''victory'' over the insurgents and the Shiite militias or palpable defeat, recognizable by all in Iraq and across the world. Any conceivable ''surge'' would not turn the tide - would not even stem it. We saw that last summer when the dispatch of 7,000 U.S. troops to reinforce Baghdad brought a fierce counter-surge - the highest level of violence since the Pentagon began issuing quarterly reports in 2005. A major buildup would commit the U.S. Army and Marine Corps to decisive combat in which there would be no more strategic reserves to be sent to the front. As Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James Conway pointed out Monday, ``If you commit your reserve for something other than a decisive win, or to stave off defeat, then you have essentially shot your bolt.'' It will be a matter of win or die in the attempt. In that situation, everyone in uniform on the ground will commit every ounce of their being to ''victory,'' and few measures will be shrunk from. Analogies come to mind: Stalingrad, the Bulge, Dien Bien Phu, the Battle of Algiers. It will be total war with the likelihood of all the excesses and mass casualties that come with total war. To force such a strategy on our armed forces would be nothing short of immoral, in view of predictable troop losses and the huge number of Iraqis who would meet violent injury and death. If adopted, the ''surge'' strategy will turn out to be something we will spend a generation living down. Sen. Gordon Smith, R-Ore., spoke for many of us on Sunday when George Stephanopoulos asked him to explain why Smith had said on the Senate floor that U.S. policy on Iraq may be ``criminal:'' ``You can use any adjective you want, George. But I have long believed in a military context, when you do the same thing over and over again, without a clear strategy for victory, at the expense of your young people in arms, that is dereliction. That is deeply immoral.'' W. Patrick Lang, a retired Army colonel, served with Special Forces in Vietnam, as a professor at West Point and as defense intelligence officer for the Middle East. Ray McGovern was a CIA analyst from 1963 to 1990 and Robert Gates' branch chief in the early 1970s. McGovern now serves on the Steering Group of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS). He is a contributor to Imperial Crusades, edited by Alexander Cockburn and Jeffrey St. Clair. They can be reached at: rrmcgovern [at] aol.com --------11 of 15-------- Don't Count on the Democrats to End the Iraq War What's Going On? By MARJORIE COHN CounterPunch December 23 / 24, 2006 Mother, mother There's too many of you crying Brother, brother, brother There's far too many of you dying You know we've got to find a way To bring some lovin' here today - Ya Father, father We don't need to escalate You see, war is not the answer For only love can conquer hate You know we've got to find a way To bring some loving' here today -Marvin Gaye, "What's Going On?, 1971 In 1971, singer Marvin Gaye raised hackles when he tried to make sense of the madness of the Vietnam War by asking, "What's Going On?" The song, told from the perspective of a returning Vietnam veteran, was inspired by Gaye's brother who had recently returned from that disastrous war. Gaye would be asking the same question if he were alive today. Nearly 3,000 U.S. soldiers and tens of thousands of Iraqis have died. A brutal civil war continues to escalate, aggravated by intense opposition to the U.S. occupation. The Joint Chiefs of Staff, Colin Powell, General John Abazaid - commander of U.S. forces in the Middle East who just resigned - and the vast majority of the American people oppose sending more U.S. troops to Iraq. Yet George W. Bush is planning to do just that. Even staunch Republicans like MSNBC anchor Joe Scarborough, who supported the war and voted twice for Bush, is asking what's going on. On his December 20 show, Scarborough was appalled by Bush's statement, "I encourage you all to go shopping more." MSNBC analyst Mike Barnacle noted that "this President is isolated, delusional, and stubborn." Bush's "delusion," according to Barnacle, is going to result in the deaths and carnage of our troops and people throughout the Middle East. "I don't think [Bush] knows what he's saying . . . He is totally isolated from reality," Barnacle added. "The deaths of American soldiers now verges on the criminal." So what is going on? Former Nixon counsel John Dean recently told a San Diego audience he doesn't think Bush is in charge - Cheney is running the government. "One of Dick Cheney's geniuses is that he lets Dubya wake up every morning and think he's President," Dean noted. Cheney has set up his own National Security Council in the Vice President's office, according to Dean. Decisions about budgets, personnel, etc., never get to the Oval Office. Cheney decides the important matters before they ever reach Bush's desk, Dean said. The report of the Iraq Study Group was not prepared by a bunch of radicals. It even recommended privatizing Iraq's oil. But the group of 10 saw that more troops and shunning Iran and Syria is not the answer. What did Bush do? He dismissed the ISG report out of hand in favor of Cheney's agenda. Why would Dick Cheney and the neocons who convinced Bush to start this war decide to pull out now? They created the war to achieve their imperial dream of privatizing Iraqi oilfields and building permanent U.S. military bases nearby to protect them. They are willing to sacrifice the lives of our soldiers and the Iraqi people in pursuit of their dream. Cheney is undoubtedly telling the evangelical Dubya to hang in there, God is testing him. Remember Bush said he consulted with his heavenly father before starting the war. If Bush thinks God told him to start this war, what will it take to make him stop? And it could get worse. Cheney-Bush has sent our battleships to the Persian Gulf to "warn" Iran that we mean business. And the White House blacked out parts of a New York Times op-ed on negotiating with Iran written by two former U.S. government advisors. This means, in all likelihood, that Cheney has decided it's time to pick off the next member of the Axis of Evil. They're following the same strategy they used on the way to Iraq: convince the American people that Iran is building weapons of mass destruction, notwithstanding overwhelming evidence to the contrary. Attacking Iran would cause a disaster of epic proportions. Now that the Democrats are taking over the reins in Washington, we have a golden opportunity to set things right. But incoming Senate majority leader Harry Reid has decided to align himself with the 12 percent of Americans who support sending more troops to Iraq. It seems more likely the Republicans, not the Democrats, will try to derail the Cheney-Bush war express. Senator Gordon Smith (R-Ore) declared last week on the Senate floor: "I, for one, am at the end of my rope when it comes to supporting a policy that has our soldiers patrolling the same streets in the same way, being blown up by the same bombs day after day. That is absurd. It may even be criminal. I cannot support that anymore." Ultimately, it is up to the American people to step up to the plate and stop this war. It's fine to tell the pollsters we want our troops out of Iraq. But that's not doing the trick. The Vietnam War ended after thousands of people marched in the streets. We may not have the draft to get the college kids off their duffs. But we do have our consciences. And that should be enough. Marjorie Cohn is a professor at Thomas Jefferson School of Law and president of the National Lawyers Guild. Her book, Cowboy Republic: Six Ways the Bush Gang Has Defied the Law, will be published next spring by PoliPointPress. [The national Dems, now holding both houses of Congress, show how despicable they are, and have been less obviously for some time. We want the war ended; the rich want the war to continue: the Dems, as always, listen to the PAC money, not the people. There is no "loyal opposition"; there is only a copy-cat disloyal collaboration. This leaves the American people with no major party to represent them; their only course now is in the streets and in general strikes. The national Dem party should be written off as a snare and a delusion, wasting our valuable energy and time. Move on. We have important business to do, and the Dems are only going to hinder us. Progressives of the world, throw off your Dem chains; you have a true democracy to gain. -ed, getting more and more fed up] --------12 of 15-------- >From the Raid on "Fort Negro" to Iraq The First U.S. Foreign Invasion: Seizing Florida in 1816 By WILLIAM LOREN KATZ CounterPunch December 23 / 24, 2006 This year of 2006 will be remembered as the moment Americans got even with leaders who had lied to them in order to garner public support for invading and occupying Iraq. But given the public's preoccupation with a crucial election and the daily news of a dismal war, few took note of a significant 2006 anniversary: 190 years ago the United States launched its first foreign invasion. The parallels to the present are enlightening. In July 1816, General Andrew Jackson, Commander of the U.S. Southern District, ordered Army, Navy and Marine units to invade Florida, then under the flag of Spain. Jackson acted, probably on orders from President James Madison, without a Congressional declaration of war. Neither Spain nor its colonial outpost posed a threat to the U.S. or its citizens. Rather, the President and the General - both prominent slaveholders - had concluded that the slave economy and its human "property" were threatened by the several thousand Native Americans and African Americans, including escaped slaves, who had united in the Seminole Nation on Florida soil. As in the case of President George W. Bush's attack on Iraq, this first foreign sortie by the U.S. had an enormous impact on the Executive Branch and its presidential powers, on respect for the Constitution by those sworn to protect it, and on the public's right to know. Historian William Weeks points out that this episode established a number of dangerous precedents, some of which Secretary of State John Quincy Adams later regretted: President Madison and Secretary Adams violated the Constitution when they bypassed Congressional input into the Executive decision to go to war. The Constitution grants war powers to the Congress alone. Adams, in defending the invasion, lied to Congress and the public about the reasons for it. Adams proclaimed that those Americans who opposed the war were not only wrong but were giving aid and comfort to the nation's foreign enemies, and he covered up atrocities committed under General Jackson's command.  Was Florida, in that distant time, any more of a menace to the strongest country in the Americas than Iraq was 19 decades later? Not really. Rather, the slaveholding elite was convinced that the Africans who fled from bondage on southern plantations to Florida's free air posed an immediate danger to Georgia, the Carolinas and perhaps the South's entire slave plantation system. In today's language they regarded these men and women - who did not live under white masters, carried arms, were allied with Native Americans and welcomed runaways to their villages - as potential "terrorists." So the slaveholders used the leverage afforded by their economic power to steer the White House toward a military response to the perceived threat. Who was "the enemy," really? Africans had been escaping from the southern English colonies and since 1738 were among the earliest explorers and pioneer settlers of Florida, where they built free, self-governing communities. Florida was their "American dream." When the Seminole Indians fled southward from Creek persecution, the Africans in Florida welcomed them and taught them methods of rice cultivation they had brought to the Americas from Senegambia and Sierra Leone. Pooling the wide range of their knowledge and skills, the two peoples united in a multicultural Seminole nation that was willing to fight slave-hunting posses from the American colonies in defense of their right to self-determination.  After the 1776 American Revolution the newly-minted United States stepped up the slave-hunting forays into Florida. By 1812, events had escalated. President Madison's administration provided covert support for a private force called "the Patriots," which crossed the border to plunder, seize free people for enslavement and wanted to incorporate the Florida peninsula into the new nation. A year later, Tennessee militia and federal government troops joined the Patriots, but the Seminole alliance repelled the combined force. In fact, the Seminole resistance led to the Congressional defeat, in April 1814, of a Patriot resolution to annex Florida. By 1816, however, Andrew Jackson, now a famous war hero and "Indian fighter," resolved to take Florida in order to close down what he called "this perpetual harbor for our slaves." He ordered his field commander, General Edmund P. Gaines to: provoke an attack on "Fort Negro" on the Apalachicola River, seize its powerful cannons and its 300 Black and Seminole residents, and "restore the stolen negroes and property to their rightful owners."  Sailing down the Apalachicola, the U.S. naval vessels passed fifty miles of large and expanding African cornfields along the river banks.  Upon reaching "Fort Negro," U.S. forces confronted a Black commander named Garcia, who had four pieces of heavy artillery, six light cannons, a large store of ammunition and deep scorn for the interlopers. Garcia faced two Navy gunboats, hundreds of regular U.S. Army soldiers and 500 Creek Indians who hoped to capture runaway Seminoles. Gaines ordered the fort to surrender and sent a delegation of Creeks to negotiate with Garcia. Garcia rebuffed the order, routed the delegation and fired a cannon shot over the Creeks. Surgeon Marcus Buck, assigned to the U.S. Fourth Infantry Regiment, wrote: "We were pleased with their spirited opposition, though they were Indians, negroes and our enemies. Many circumstances convinced us that most of them determined never to be taken alive."  Gaines's forces surrounded "Fort Negro" and opened fire, but the initial artillery exchanges proved inconsequential. Then fortuitously, a cannon ball heated in the cook's galley and lobbed into the fort hit Garcia's ammunition magazine. The resulting spectacular explosion destroyed Fort Negro and killed 270 people. Of the 64 who survived, Garcia was executed, and the others were marched back to slavery. Hundreds of other Africans and Seminoles in the region fled to the Suwannee River, where they built villages that extended down the seacoast to Tampa Bay.  Within months, the relocated Black and Indian nation chose Billy Bowlegs as their king, and his chief Black advisor, Nero, as their military commander. They gathered horses, drilled and readied themselves to defend against future attacks.  Andrew Jackson, energized by his victory, notified incoming President James Monroe that he was ready to seize Florida "in sixty days." His troops captured Pensacola in May 1818. The General now shifted into high gear, embarking on "a campaign of terror, devastation, and intimidation" that included burning "sources of food in a calculated effort to inflict starvation on the tribes," according to historian William Weeks. His "exhibition of murder and plunder known as the First Seminole war," writes Weeks, was part of Jackson's goal of "removing or eliminating native Americans from the southeast." Secretary of State John Quincy Adams, believing in "Indian removal, slavery, and the use of military force without congressional approval," and that it was "better to err on the side of vigor than on the side of weakness," defended the invasion, as well as Jackson's brutal search and destroy operations. In presenting that defense, writes Weeks, "he consciously distorted, dissembled, and lied about the goals and conduct of American foreign policy to both Congress and the public" - an effort, Weeks believes, that "stands as a monumental distortion of the causes and conduct of Jackson's conquest of Florida, reminding historians not to search for truth in official explanations of events."  In 1819, the United States persuaded a war-weary Spain to sell Florida for $5 million, and in 1822 it entered the Union as a slave state. Although the first Seminole War had ended with a real estate deal that erased all claims of Florida's original inhabitants, many more years of war lay ahead. The U.S. had entered a quagmire, with, at times, half of its army tied down in ongoing skirmishes in Florida's swampland. The Second Seminole War began full scale in 1836. That year, soon after arriving to take command of U.S. operations in Florida, General Sidney Thomas Jesup warned of the war's consequences: "This, you may be assured, is a negro and not an Indian war; and if it be not speedily put down, the south will feel the effects of it on their slave population." He analyzed the task ahead: The two races, the negro and the Indian, are rapidly approximating; they are identical in interests and feelings. . . . Should the Indians remain in this territory the negroes among them will form a rallying point for runaway negroes from the adjacent states; and if they remove, the fastness of the country will be immediately occupied by negroes.  The war raged on, with U.S. officers violating truce agreements, seizing women and children as hostages, attacking peaceful villages and destroying crops. The Army tried mightily to pit the Blacks against the Indians through various diplomatic maneuvers, but the attempts at racial division failed. Unable to sunder Seminole solidarity, a U.S. military victory remained elusive. The Seminoles, using classic guerilla tactics, continued to run circles around the most modern army in the Americas. On Christmas Eve, 1837, about 400 red and black Seminoles, though outnumbered more than two to one, inflicted the most stunning loss suffered by the U.S. Army in decades of Indian warfare.  After a year of guerilla warfare, Jesup restated his view: "The warriors have fought as long as they had life," which he credited to "the determination of those who influence their councils - I mean the leading negroes." He concluded, "The negroes rule the Indians, and it is important that they should feel themselves secure; if they should become alarmed and hold out, the war will be resumed." Jesup proposed that the entire Seminole nation, with its Black members, be allowed to migrate west. While planters greeted the idea with "violent protests," ultimately Jesup's proposal would prove to be the only plan that could bring peace.  In the Second Seminole War 1500 U.S. soldiers had died, Congress had spent more than $40,000,000 (pre-Civil War dollars!) and thousands of soldiers were wounded or had died of disease. Seminole losses, particularly civilians, were undoubtedly much higher. Finally, thousands of red and black Seminoles, having won assurances that they could remain free and united as a nation, agree to migrate to the Oklahoma Indian Territory. Others neither surrendered nor left their Florida homeland. The Seminoles of Florida had operated the largest station on the Underground Railroad and had emerged undefeated, with their community intact, from nearly 50 years of siege. Their accomplishment has no equal in United States history. William Loren Katz is the author of Black Indians: A Hidden Heritage. His new, revised edition of THE BLACK WEST [Harlem Moon/Random House, 2005] also includes information on the Philippine occupation, and can now be found in bookstores. He can be reached through his website: www.williamlkatz.com Notes  William Weeks, John Quincy Adams and the American Global Empire (Kentucky, 1992).; See also, Noam Chomsky, Failed States, [New York, 2006] 89-92 for a discussion of how precedents established by the 1816 invasion of Florida impacted on American foreign policy through the current occupation of Iraq.  The following sources inform this article: Kenneth W. Porter, The Negro on the American Frontier [New York, 1971] a pioneering collection of scholarly articles on African Americans and Native Americans, based on primary sources presents reliable information on the Seminole alliance. Newer sources confirm Porter's major findings: Daniel F. Littlefield, Africans and Seminoles from Removal to Emancipation [Greenwood Press, 1977]; William Loren Katz, Black Indians: A Hidden Heritage [Atheneum 1986] a popular history; Kevin Mulroy, Freedom on the Border: Seminole Maroons in Florida, the Indian Territory, Cuahuila, and Texas [Texas Tech University Press, 1992]; Kenneth W. Porter, The Black Seminoles: History of a Freedom-Seeking People, [University Press of Florida] 1996, "revised and edited by Alcione M. Amos and Thomas P. Senter" from a Porter manuscript.  Major General Sidney T. Jesup, Jesup Papers, box 14; 25th Congress, Second session, 1837-1838, House Executive Doc., Vol. III, no. 78, p. 52.  Porter, 202, 212.  Report of Col. Clinch on "the destruction of Fort Negro, on the Apalachicola, July 29, 1816" [Washington: War Records Office, National Archives]  Porter, 219  Porter, 221  Porter, 223  William Weeks, Op. Cit.; see also Richard Immerman and Regina Gramer, Passport, (newsletter of the Society of Historians for American Foreign Relations, August 2005.  Washington Chauncey Ford, ed., Writings of John Quincy Adams [Macmillan, 1916], volume 6, p. 385n  Major General Jesup, in American State Papers, Military Affairs, vol. 7, 820-822; see also Porter, 272, 281, 282.  For U.S. efforts to sow racial discord, see exchanges between General Gaines and King Hatchy in American State Papers, 1 (Washington, D.C., 1832) 723, and Chief Emachutochustern to General Thompson, Indian Agent, 1835 in American State Papers, Military Affairs 4, (Washington, D.C., 1861) 463; Porter, 1996, "revised and edited," 88-93; Porter, "Seminole Flight from Ft. Marion," Florida Historical Quarterly xxvi (July, 1947) 92-98.  Major General Jesup, March 26, 1837 in American State Papers, Military Affairs, VII. 835.; Porter, 276-277; Mulroy, 29. [America looks "good" only to those who don't know its history. -ed] --------13 of 15-------- Why Condemning Israel and the Zionist Lobby is So Important by James Petras www.dissidentvoice.org December 25, 2006 "It's no great secret why the Jewish agencies continue to trumpet support for the discredited policies of this failed administration. They see defense of Israel as their number-one goal, trumping all other items on the agenda. That single-mindedness binds them ever closer to a White House that has made combating Islamic terrorism its signature campaign. The campaign's effects on the world have been catastrophic. But that is no concern of the Jewish agencies." -- December 8, 2006 statement by JJ Goldberg, editor of Forward (the leading Jewish weekly in the United States) Introduction Many Jewish writers, including those who are somewhat critical of Israel, have raised pointed questions about our critique of the Zionist power configuration (ZPC) in the United States and what they wrongly claim are our singular harsh critique of the state of Israel. Some of these accusers claim to see signs of 'latent anti-Semitism,' others, of a more 'leftist' coloration, deny the influential role of the ZPC arguing that US foreign policy is a product of 'geo-politics or the interests of big oil. With the recent publication of several widely circulated texts, highly critical of the power of the Zionist 'lobby', several liberal pro-Israel publicists generously conceded that it is a topic that should be debated (and not automatically stigmatized and dismissed) and perhaps be 'taken into account.' ZPC Deniers: Phony Arguments for Fake Claims The main claims of ZPC deniers take several tacks: Some claim that the ZPC is just 'another lobby' like the Chamber of Commerce, the Sierra Club or the Society for the Protection of Goldfish. Others claim that by focusing mainly on Israel and by inference the 'Lobby', the critics of Zionism ignore the equally violent abuses of rulers, regimes and states elsewhere. This 'exclusive focus' on Israel, the deniers of ZPC argue, reveals a latent or overt anti-Semitism. They propose that human rights advocates condemn all human rights abusers everywhere (at the same time and with the same emphasis?). Others still argue that Israel is a democracy - at least outside of the Occupied Territories (OT) - and therefore is not as condemnable as other human rights violators and should be 'credited' for its civic virtues along with its human rights failings. Finally, others still claim that, because of the Holocaust and the 'History-of-Two-Thousand-Years-of-Persecution', criticism of Jewish-funded and led pro-Israel lobbies should be handled with great prudence, making it clear that one criticizes only specific abuses, investigates all charges - especially those from Arab/Palestinian/United Nations/European/Human Rights sources - and recognizes that Israeli public opinion, the press and even the Courts or sectors of them may also be critical of regime policies. These objections to treating the Israeli-Palestinian-Arab conflict and the activities of Zionist Lobbies as central to peace and war serve to dilute, dissipate and deflate criticism and organized political activity directed at the ZPC and its directors in Israel. The response of the critics of Israel and the ZPC to these attacks has been weak at best and cowardly at worst. Some critics have responded that their criticism is only directed toward a specific policy or leader, or to Israeli policies in the OT and that they recognize Israel is a democracy, that it requires secure borders, and that it is in the interests of the Israeli 'people' to lower their security barriers. Others argue that their criticism is directed at securing Israeli interests, influencing the Zionist Lobby or to opening a debate. They claim that the views of 'most' Jews' in the US are not represented by the 52 organizations that make up the Presidents of the Major Jewish Organizations of America, or the thousands of PACs, local federations, professional associations and weekly publications which speak with one voice as unconditional supporters of every twist and turn in the policy of the Zionist State. There are numerous similar lines of criticism, which basically avoid the fundamental issues raised by the Israeli state and the ZPC, and which we are obliged to address. The reason that criticism and action directed against Israel and the ZPC is of central importance today in any discussion of US foreign policy, especially (but not exclusively) of Middle East policy and US domestic policymaking is that they play a decisive role and have a world-historic impact on the present and future of world peace and social justice. We turn now to examine the 'big questions' facing Americans as a result of the power of Israel in the United States. The Big Questions Raised by the ZPC and Israeli Power in the USA: War or Peace: Critical study of the lead up to the US invasion of Iraq, US involvement in providing arms to Israel (cluster bombs, two-ton bunker buster bombs and satellite surveillance intelligence) prior to, during and after Israel's abortive invasion of Lebanon, Washington's backing of the starvation blockade of the Palestinian people and the White House and Congress' demands for sanctions and war against Iran are directly linked to Israeli state policy and its Zionist policy-makers in the Executive branch and US Congress. One needs to look no further than the documents, testimony and reports of AIPAC and the Presidents of the Major American Jewish Organizations to observe their claims of success in authoring legislation, providing (falsified) intelligence, engaging in espionage (AIPAC) and turning documents over to Israeli intelligence (now dubbed 'free speech' by liberal Zionists). If, as the overwhelming evidence indicates, the ZPC played a major role in the major wars of our time, wars capable of igniting new armed conflicts, then it ill behooves us to dilute the role of the Zionist/Jewish Lobby in promoting future US wars. Given Israel's militarist-theocratic approach to territorial aggrandizement and its announced plans for future wars with Iran and Syria, and given the fact that the ZPC acts as an unquestioning and highly disciplined transmission belt for the Israeli state, then US citizens opposed to present and future US engagement in Middle East wars must confront the ZPC and its Israeli mentors. Moreover, given the extended links among the Islamic nations, the Israel-ZPC proposed 'new wars' with Iran will result in Global wars. Hence what is at stake in confronting the ZPC are questions which go beyond the Israeli-Palestine peace process, or even regional Middle East conflicts: it involves the big question of World Peace or War. Democracy or Authoritarianism Without the bluster and public hearings of former Senator Joseph McCarthy, the Jewish Lobby has systematically undermined the principal pillars of our fragile democracy. While the US Congress, media, academics, retired military and public figures are free to criticize the President, any criticism of Israel, much less the Jewish Lobby, is met with vicious attacks in all the op-ed pages of major newspapers by an army of pro-Israeli 'expert' propagandists, demands for firings, purges and expulsions of the critics from their positions or denial of promotions or new appointments. In the face of any prominent critic calling into question the Lobby's role in shaping US policy to suit Israel's interests, the entire apparatus (from local Jewish federations, AIPAC, the Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations etc) go into action - smearing, insulting and stigmatizing the critics as 'anti-Semites'. By denying free speech and public debate through campaigns of calumny and real and threatened repercussions the Jewish Lobby has denied Americans one of their more basic freedoms and constitutional rights. The massive, sustained and well-financed hate campaigns directed at any congressional candidate critical of Israel effectively eliminates free speech among the political elite. The overwhelming influence of wealthy Jewish contributors to both parties - but especially the Democrats - results in the effective screening out of any candidate who might question any part of the Lobby's Israel agenda. The takeover of Democratic campaign finance by two ultra-Zionist zealots, Senator Charles Schumer and Israeli-American Congressman Rahm Emanuel ensured that every candidate was totally subordinated to the Lobby's unconditional support of Israel. The result is that there is no Congressional debate, let alone investigation, over the key role of prominent Zionists in the Pentagon involved in fabricating reports on Iraq's 'weapons of mass destruction', and in designing and executing the war and the disastrous occupation policy. The Lobby's ideologues posing as Middle East 'experts' dominate the op-ed and editorial pages of all the major newspapers (Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post). In their pose as Middle East experts, they propagandize the Israeli line on the major television networks (CBS, NBC,ABC, Fox, and CNN) and their radio affiliates. The Lobby has played a prominent role in supporting and implementing highly repressive legislation like the Patriot Act and the Military Commission Act as well as modifying anti-corruption legislation to allow the Lobby to finance congressional 'educational' junkets to Israel. The head of Homeland Security with its over 150,000 functionaries and multi-billion dollar budget is none other than Zionist fanatic Michael Chertoff, head persecutor of Islamic charity organizations, Palestinian relief organizations and other ethnic Middle Eastern or Moslem constituencies in the US, which potentially might challenge the Lobby's pro-Israel agenda. The biggest threat to democracy in its fullest sense of the word - the right to debate, to elect, to legislate free of coercion - is found in the organized efforts of the Zionist lobby, to repress public debate, control candidate selection and campaigning, direct repressive legislation and security agencies against electoral constituencies opposing the Lobby's agenda for Israel. No other lobby or political action group has as much sustained and direct influence over the political process - including the media, congressional debate and voting, candidate selection and financing of congressional allocation of foreign aid and Middle East agendas as the organized Zionist Power Configuration (ZPC) and its indirect spokespeople heading key Congressional positions. A first step toward reversing the erosion of our democratic freedoms is recognizing and publicly exposing the ZPC's nefarious organizational and financial activities and moving forward toward neutralizing their efforts. Their Foreign Policy or Ours? Intimately and directly related to the loss of democratic freedoms and a direct consequence of the Jewish lobby's influence over the political process is the making of US Middle East policy and who benefits from it. The entire political effort of the Lobby (its spending, ethnic baiting, censorship and travel junkets) is directed toward controlling US foreign policy and, through US power, to influence the policy of US allies, clients and adversaries in Europe, Asia and the Middle East. The Lobby's systematic curtailment of our democratic freedoms is intimately related to our own inability to influence our nation's foreign policy. Our majoritarian position against the Iraq War, the repudiation of the main executioner of the War (the White House) and our horror in the face of the Israeli invasion of Lebanon and destruction of Gaza are totally neutralized by Zionist influence over Congressional and White House policymakers. The recently victorious Congressional Democrats repudiate their electorate and follow the advice and dictates of the pro-Zionist leadership (Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Rahm Emmanuel, Stephan Israel and others) by backing an escalation of troops and an increase in military spending for the war in Iraq. Bush follows the war policy against Iran proposed by the zealous Zionist fanatics in the American Enterprise Institute, repudiating the diplomatic proposals of the bi-partisan Baker Commission. Congress quadruples US arms stored in Israel (supposedly for dual use) in the aftermath of Israel's bombing of Southern Lebanon with one million anti-personnel bomblets from cluster bombs in direct defiance of US electoral opinion. While hundreds of millions of undernourished women and children suffer and die in Africa, Latin America and Asia, the Lobby ensures that over half of US foreign aid goes to Israeli Jews with per capita incomes of over $22,000 USD. No other organized political action group or public relations firm acting on behalf of the Cuban and Venezuelan exiles or Arab, African, Chinese or European Union states comes remotely near the influence of the Zionist lobby in shaping US policy to serve the interest of Israel. While the Lobby speaks for less than 2% of the US electorate, its influence on foreign policy far exceeds the great majority who have neither comparable organizational nor financial muscle to impose their views. Never in the history of the US republic or empire has a powerful but tiny minority been able to wield so much influence in using out nation's military and economic power and diplomatic arm-twisting in the service of a foreign government. Neither the Francophiles during the American Revolution, the Anglophiles in the Civil War and the German Bund in the run-up to World War Two, nor the (anti-China) Nationalist Taiwan Lobby possessed the organizational power and sustained political influence that the ZPC has on US foreign and domestic policy at the service of the State of Israel. Confronting the Lobby Matters The question of the power of the Lobby over US policies of war or peace, authoritarianism or democracy and over who defines the interests served by US foreign policy obviously go far beyond the politics of the Middle East, the Israeli-colonial land grabs in Palestine and even the savage occupation of Iraq. The playing out of Zionist influence over the greatest military power in the world, with the most far-reaching set of client states, military bases, deadly weapons and decisive voice in international bodies (IMF/World Bank/United Nations Security Council) means that the Lobby has a means to leverage its reach in most regions of the world. This leverage power extends over a range of issues, from defending the fortunes of murderous Russian-Jewish gangster oligarchs, to bludgeoning European allies of the US to complicity with Israel's ethnic cleansing of Palestine. The ZPC represents a basic threat to our existence as a sovereign state and our ability to influence whom we elect and what agendas and interests our representatives will pursue. Even worse, by serving Israeli interests, we are becoming complicit with a State whose Supreme Court legalizes political assassinations across national boundaries, torture, systematic violations of international law and a regime which repudiates United Nations resolutions and unilaterally invades and bombs its neighbors and practices military colonist expansionism. In a word Israel resonates and feeds into the most retrograde tendencies and brutal practices of contemporary American politics. In this sense the Lobby through its media, Congressional influence and think tanks is creating an Israeli look-alike. Like Israel, the US has established its own Pentagon assassination teams; like Israel, it invades and colonizes Iraq; like Israel, it violates and rejects any constitutional or international legal restraints and systematically tortures accused but untried prisoners. Because of these fundamental considerations, we cannot oblige our Jewish 'progressive' colleagues and compatriots and refrain from confronting the Zionist Lobby with force and urgency. Too many of our freedoms are at stake; too little time is left before they succeed in securing a greater military escalation; too little of our sovereignty remains in the face of the concerted effort by the Lobby and its Middle Eastern 'expert-ideologues' to push and shove us into a new and more devastating war with Iran at the behest of Israel's pursuit of Middle East dominance. No other country, abuser or not, of human rights, with or without electoral systems, has the influence over our domestic and foreign policy as does the state of Israel. No other Lobby has the kind of financial power and organizational reach as the Jewish Lobby in eroding our domestic political freedoms or our war-making powers. For those reasons alone, it stands to reason, that we Americans have a necessity to put our fight against Israel and its Lobby at the very top of our political agenda. It is not because Israel has the worst human rights agenda in the world - other states have even worst democratic credentials - but because of its role in promoting its US supporters to degrade our democratic principles, robbing us of our freedom to debate and our sovereignty to decide our own interests. The Lobby puts the military and budgetary resources of the Empire at the service of Greater Israel - and that results in the worst human rights in the world. Democratic, just and peaceful responses to the Big Questions that face Americans, Europeans, Muslims, Jews and other peoples of the world passes through the defeat and dismantlement of the Israeli-directed Zionist Power Configuration in America. Nothing less will allow us to engage in an open debate on the alternatives to repression at home and imperialism abroad. James Petras, a former Professor of Sociology at Binghamton University, New York, owns a 50-year membership in the class struggle, is an adviser to the landless and jobless in Brazil and Argentina, and is co-author of Globalization Unmasked (Zed Books). His latest book is, The Power of Israel in the United States (Clarity Press, 2006). He can be reached at: jpetras [at] binghamton.edu. --------14 of 15-------- Santa Claus is an FBI stooge. Put a land mine in your chimney. Afterward, Hoover him up with the J Edgar model vac. It sucks! This exploded view of Santa brought to you by: Our Buddies, Our Elves. --------15 of 15------- Those in the Lesser Evil Party are LEPers. Best keep your distance. LEPers lose fists feet knees spines fingers ears eyes teeth tongues hearts guts minds souls. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ - David Shove shove001 [at] tc.umn.edu rhymes with clove Progressive Calendar over 2225 subscribers as of 12.19.02 please send all messages in plain text no attachments To GO DIRECTLY to an item, eg --------8 of x-------- do a find on --8
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