(This article appeared initially as an opinion piece on RT.com) US President Trump has called Obama’s model for crushing the 2011 Occupy Wall Street movement “beautiful” and is using it to label even peaceful BLM protesters as domestic terrorists. It’s police state stuff. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The US Constitution’s Bill of Rights makes it crystal clear in …
Note 50 years after the March on the Pentagon:
This month marks the 50th anniversary of a historic event: the 1967 MOBE rally and march on the Pentagon to protest the Vietnam War. Hundreds of thousands of students, committed leftists and anti-war activists as well as veterans of the Civil Rights movement from all over the nation descended on Washington and put their bodies on the line at the center of the US War Machine. Over 700 were arrested and jailed, among them the author.
In this report — this journalist’s first piece of newswriting, done at the age of 18 — I think readers, and especially younger ones who missed the ‘60s, may get a glimpse of the kind of thinking that was going on among those of us who found ourselves coming unexpectedly face to face with the reality of our government as an oppressive global empire, and with the idea that our own government lies.
There is a naivety here that I hope people will understand and see for what it is: evidence of how middle-class people raised in the post-war era as I was had been lured into a sense of comforting illusion even as our nation was overthrowing governments, propping up brutal dictators, slaughtering Third World people on a scale that can only be called genocide, and promoting a Cold War with the USSR which threatened to trigger a thermonuclear war (sound familiar?).
What I missed in my instant, and rather pessimistic snap analysis of the significance of the MOBE at the time was that it actually led to the peace campaigns of both Eugene McCarthy and Robert Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson’s decision not to seek another term as President. It also signaled the beginning of a more militant anti-war movement – one which no longer saw the war as just a mistake or a pointless effort, but as part of a vast imperial scheme of global dominance. In my observation about the relatively small number of genuine radicals at the march, I missed the reality that those hard-core radicals were the ones who had been protesting the war early, and who had done much of the organizing to make it happen. I also failed to even imagine that the violence I saw aimed at MPs guarding the Pentagon was almost certainly the work of agents provocateur — something we learned more about a few years later later when COINTELPRO was exposed.
Despite the shortcomings of my 18-year-old report here, hopefully we can all learn something useful for today by looking back at that crucial event through the eyes of someone whose worldview was profoundly shaped by his participation in it.
Confrontation at the Pentagon
Washington, DC (Oct. 26, 1967) — As I sat on the bus with the other students, all riding down to Washington for the confrontation, there was a whispering question which sat like a knot in my head. I was going down there to commit civil disobedience and probably to get arrested and sentenced to a short stint in jail. Why was I doing this?
I think that there were several reasons I would have give if asked, but none of them really satisfied me. I am opposed to the war in Vietnam. Still, I love this country and a by no means a subversive…I’m a patriot. These two sentences are not mutually exclusive. I’m opposed to the war not because I think we are losing or because we cannot win, but for another reason which I have not completely resolved. It seems to me that the whole of recorded history has been of wars and killing. Right now we are by no means in some millennium, while we humanity, actually contemplate the very real possibility of total self-annihilation and are finally capable of it.
I have something in common with some of the brownshirt thugs who assaulted the Capitol, some reportedly intent on kidnapping and/or killing congressional leaders and members like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Minority Leader and presumptive Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Vice President Mike Pence. No, I’m not a brownshirt fascist. I’m …
Little noticed during yesterday’s bizarre storming of the Capitol building by armed and violent Trump-incited American “brownshirts,” was the fact that National Guard troops, called for by Washington’s mayor, but not authorized by President Trump, were finally authorized by Vice President Pence. The significance of this chain of authority cannot be understated, as the Trump presidency begins …
Transcript of RT-TV interview of Dave Lindorff by RT’s Caleb Maupin: Maupin: Why does the Department of Defense have so much excess gear that it needs to unload, anyway? Lindorff: The US has been involved in so many wars, they become occupations, and the military has developed techniques for operating as an occupying army, and …
Rosa Parks says no to racism. Stand Up! I live in Denmark but I wish I were in my old hometown, Los Angeles. I would be there beside my younger brothers and sisters putting police cars on fire, plundering stores that discriminate against African-Americans, and shouting, “We Can’t Breathe”! “No More Killer Cops!” “Long Live …
The following are recollections from several members of the ThisCantBeHappening! Collective about our various anti-war movement struggles and of the day of final triumph in Vietnam 45 years ago today. Dave Lindorff: A Day in the Park Like No Other When the US war on Vietnam ended on April 30, 1975 with Vietnamese …
The Senate, by a voice vote with no opposition yesterday passed a bill condemning the Hong Kong government and Hong Kong police for their brutal treatment of students in the supposedly autonomous Chinese city protesting threats to Hong Kong’s freedoms and it’s promise from China of self rule until 2047. The bill, if signed into …
It’s easy to let time and nostalgia get in the way of remembering what American journalism was really like back in the last century. Certainly it was not all Watergate and Pentagon Papers exposés, and even those two prime examples of the media’s standing up to government threats and taking on the powerful were not …
UPDATE: Massive weekly candlelight demonstrations that began last fall on Oct. 29 and that brought an incredible 2.3 million into the streets of central Seoul on Dec. 3 have been transforming South Korea’s politics and society, pressuring the National Assembly to impeach and oust the corrupt President Park Geun-hye and now bringing about the election of a peace candidate from the Democratic Party of Korea (DPK), Moon Jae-in.
Moon’s election is a historic moment pregnant with new opportunities.
A human rights lawyer and former student activist, Moon is calling for an end to threats by the US against North Korea and for the adoption of a policy of friendship and peaceful negotiation with the north.
His biggest challenge though will be ending the subservient colonial-status that lies at the heart of the US-South Korea relationship, dating back to the US military occupation of South Korea that began in 1945 with the end of World War II.
Many Americans may know that the Korean War never really ended, and that rather, with the armies of China and the US and their respective North and South Korean “allies” having battled to a stalemate at roughly where the border was at the start of the war, an armistice was signed. What Americans don’t know is that since the Korean War began, ostensibly under the authority of a United Nations Security Council resolution, the US, under the facade of calling itself the “UN Command,” has continued to exercise full and unfettered control over the armed forces of the Republic of Korea.
This unprecedented situation even led a prominent US commander, the late Gen. Richard G. Stilwell, to call the relationship “the most remarkable concession of sovereignty in the entire world.” Gen. Stilwell went on to note that relying upon a twisted interpretation of the UN resolution that authorized war against North Korea, the US has asserted that it has full authority, acting supposedly in South Korea’s interest, even to use nuclear weapons against the North.
An attempt was made by an earlier peace-advocating candidate from the DPK elected to the presidency to eliminate the U.N. Command but it was rejected on June 24 1994 because the US simply would not allow it. The Security Council, under US influence, merely “recommended” the creation of a unified command, specifying that “it be under the authority of the United States” — a meaningless change in phraseology. Technically, in 1994 the South Korean government was granted control over its military during peace time, but the US would retain control over the country’s military during any time of conflict with the North. That situation is projected to remain in force into some unspecified time in the 2020s.
Thus, the US alone, 67 years after the start of the Korean War, still claims the authority to “decide on the continued existence or the dissolution of the United Nations Command.”
This cancer, which leaves South Korea — the seventh largest national economy in terms of GDP right behind the UK and one of Asia’s most modern countries — as little more than a vassal state or colony of the US, needs to be excised. We will see how the new Moon administration grapples with it and how far the US will go to try and preserve this pathological relationship.
North Korea today is not the North Korea of 1994 when President Bill Clinton seriously considered a preemptive strike against the Yongbyon nuclear reactor. Back then North Korea did not possess any nuclear weapons.
Now North Korea possesses the knowledge of nuclear weapons technology and any US cyberattacks can only slow the process of weapons development but not stop it. Most likely the North’s ability to reconstitute nuclear weapons technology is there for good — and it is proceeding with ICBM experiments too.