Sunday, November 15, 2015

Terrorist Attacks, ISIS, ISIL, and U.S.-Western Complicity

quote by Noam Chomsky is from here

French president vows war without pity on terroristsNov. 14, 2015 - 1:25 - Francois Hollande addresses media after visiting the Bataclan concert hall


As I'm sure most of you have heard and seen, terrorist atrocities were committed in Paris this past Friday. Also in Beirut on Thursday. What I am hearing in corporate media is that the white West will even more militantly go after terrorist groups formed in Western, Central, and Southern Asia. What is abbreviated as "ISIS", "ISIL", and any other militant terrorist groups formed in those regions are targeted to be wiped out. So far, the West has not only been unsuccessful at this aim, but has acted in ways that only fuel more terrorism, including our own.

The West's inept effort to stop ISIS and ISIL becomes even more of a sham when we learn that we have a hand in training members of those organizations.

June 26, 2014:
“The United States itself has been complicit in training the members of ISIS in Syria who later came to Iraq and began to input their essentially reign of terror on the Iraqis,” William Beeman, professor of anthropology at The University of Minnesota, told Press TV from Minneapolis. (Source:

June 3, 2015:
A declassified secret US government document obtained by the conservative public interest law firm, Judicial Watch, shows that Western governments deliberately allied with al-Qaeda and other Islamist extremist groups to topple Syrian dictator Bashir al-Assad.

The document reveals that in coordination with the Gulf states and Turkey, the West intentionally sponsored violent Islamist groups to destabilize Assad, and that these “supporting powers” desired the emergence of a “Salafist Principality” in Syria to “isolate the Syrian regime.”

The revelations contradict the official line of Western governments on their policies in Syria, and raise disturbing questions about secret Western support for violent extremists abroad, while using the burgeoning threat of terror to justify excessive mass surveillance and crackdowns on civil liberties at home.

This is U.S. and Western history across the vast continent of Asia: terrorizing and otherwise destablizing regions of the world, through invasion, occupation, economic exploitation and slavery, resource theft, poisoning military warfare, mass murder, genocide, or all of the above. This is also the history of Europeans in the Americas. 

The West has committed this terrorism for hundreds of years, without pity.

Monday, November 2, 2015

'Other' Black Lives Matter

Photo of the leaders of Black Lives Matter, Alicia Garza (left), 
Opal Tometi (center) and Patrisse Cullors (right) is from here

In a recent exchange with S Baldwin, here on the blog, SB pointed out that in addition to Black men's lives, and those of Black male youth, there are other lives that also don't matter as far as mainstream media outlets are concerned: those of Black women and Black girls.

What is not new is that Black women's lives get subsumed in the lives of others who are oppressed and systematically killed. "Black people", too often, are sexistly assumed to only be "Black men". In too many dominant social spaces, trans people of any gender are assumed to be white.

All the Women are White, all the Blacks are Men... comes to mind.

I have had the great honor to hear Alicia Garza speak. To me, she is a solid example of "a great leader". She is also the kind of leader the white and male supremacist mainstream, in media or out of it, will unlikely acknowledge as such. Media doesn't like shared titles. Media likes 'the' leader. But Alicia speaks inclusively, which is in itself rare among white progressives or male radicals. She speaks of all the people, past and present, who art part of political struggles. Keeping with that tradition is not conducive to the Great White Male Leader narrative. Alicia speaks of the leadership and purpose of the Black Lives Matter movement, here:

An excerpt:
It's really hard for people to wrap their heads around a movement that is full of leaders. That's how our homes work; that's how our communities work; that's how our workplaces work, whether or not we want to talk about it. We're just trying to reflect our own realities. We're trying to create more pathways for more people to participate and engage. If we want a full democracy in this country, we can't just have people following one person. Everyone has to feel like they have a stake in shaping the kind of world that we live in. Otherwise, we get into a situation like the one that we're living in now, where nobody's happy with the leadership that we're getting.  -- Alicia Garza

Here are some links detailing the atrocities. There are many and there are not enough, but few of them come from the white male mainstream.

I have thought often about the fact--to me a truthful one--that whites and men cannot lead us--the whole us--anywhere that is radically life-affirming and justice-bringing.