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Destroying 3 myths: Before The Slave Trade (Videos)

Before The Slave Trade: African World History in Pictures by Robin Walker

About the Book

It is to be expected that for most readers early Black history is a new and unfamiliar subject. Our focus is NOT on the usual topics of discussion, i.e. Mary Seacole, Malcolm X, the man who invented the traffic lights, or the Slave Trade. Our focus is much larger. This book was written to tell a much bigger and far more important story.

We discuss the role of Black men and women in the development of high cultures in Africa before the coming of the Europeans. Chapter 1 presents a series of snapshots of Africa as it was when the kidnapping and mass enslavement of Africans began. The subsequent chapters introduce the role of Black men and women in the origin and evolution of high cultures that have shaped the world.  
We discuss the role of Black people in the early history of Nubia, Ancient Egypt, Carthage and the Moorish Empire. In short, we refute the view that the African was peripheral to the development of civilisation. We further show the role of Black people in the ancient civilisations of the East. We highlight the critical role of Blacks in the early history of Palestine, Arabia, Iraq, Iran, India and Pakistan (i.e. Phoenicia, Arabia Felix, Sumer, Elam, and the Indus Valley). Finally, we show the role of Africans in the ancient and mediæval history of Central America.
Accompanying the text are a series of photographs, many of them rarely used, that are vital in driving home the main point of the book. That is, the history and achievements of the African is something to learn from and be inspired by. It is not a legacy to be ashamed of.

The book contains a Glossary of words used throughout the book, and also a Chronological Table. It is always a good idea to cross check facts and dates against the Table

BeforeThe Slave Trade provides novices to Black History and teachers of Egyptology or African Civilisations with key photographic images as visual proof of the greatness of the Black past. Such visual resources are always necessary and it is important that such resources are readily accessible, especially as teaching material.

The book bridges the immense gap between what scholars know about the early history and achievements of Black people and what the general public knows. This gulf has unfortunately remained constant for over a hundred years.
The book serves as both an introduction and a supplementary volume to our much larger work When We Ruled. There is almost no overlap between the two books but they complement each other well.
The book shows the role of Black men and women in the development of high cultures in Africa before the coming of the Europeans. It also shows the role of Black men and women in the origin and evolution of high cultures that have shaped the world, such as Ancient Nubia, Ancient Egypt, Carthage, and the Moorish Empire. Challenging the view that the African was peripheral to the development of world civilisation, it also shows the critical role of Black people in the ancient civilisations of the East (i.e. Phoenicia, Judah, Arabia Felix, Sumer, Elam, and the Indus Valley). Finally, the book discusses the role of Africans in the ancient and medieval history of Central America.
Before The Slave Trade is an essential resource for the teacher, researcher or student of Black History, African World Studies or Egyptology.
Book Details:
Paperback: 200 pages 
Publisher: Black History Studies Publications (1 Sep 2008) 
Language English 
ISBN-10: 0955969506 
ISBN-13: 978-0955969508 
Product Dimensions: 152mm x 227mm

Before The Slave Trade Book Trailer- Part 1
Destroying 2 myths: Before The Slave Trade: 
African World History in Pictures: Part 2
Before The Slave Trade Book Trailer- Part 3
Table of Contents
Acknowledgements
1
Foreword
3
Introduction
6
The Select Committee on the Slave Trade
6
About The Book
7
Chapter 1
Before the Era of the Slave Traders
9
Chapter 2
Africa and the Origin of the Human Race
24
Chapter 3
The African in Ancient History: An Introduction
29
Chapter 4
The African in Ancient Egypt
34
Chapter 5
The African in Ancient Carthage
76
Chapter 6
Blacks in the Ancient History of Asia: An Introduction
89
Chapter 7
Blacks in the Ancient History of Palestine
96
Chapter 8
Blacks in the Ancient History of Arabia
100
Chapter 9
Blacks in the Ancient History of Iraq
105
Chapter 10
Blacks in the Ancient History of Iran
110
Chapter 11
Blacks in the Ancient History of India and Pakistan
115
Chapter 12
Africans in the Early History of Central America
121
Appendices
Pictorial Supplement
127
Summary of Pictorial Resources contained in Before the Slave Trade and When We Ruled
159
Glossary
170
Chronological Table
174
Bibliography
184
Special Bibliography for Additional Pictorial Resources
189
Index
192
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Robin Walker, or ‘The Black History Man,’ is a noted scholar of Medieval African History. Growing up in the 70’s, Walker believed that “the only thing black people contributed to world culture was to be slaves.” It was during the 90’s, after obtaining an economics degree from LSE Walker gained deeper understanding of Ancient African Civilisations having been inspired by Chancellor Williams’ book The Destruction of Black Civilization.
Since then Walker has worked tirelesslyto disseminate knowledge, lecturing in African World Studies, Egyptology and Black History at universities and conferences across the UK and authoring 16 books. In 1999 he wrote Classical Splendour: Roots of Black History and Sword, The Seal and Koran in 2000. But arguably, Walker is best known for his 2006 textbook When We Ruled, heralded as an update to the Chancellor Williams text that inspired him. An incredible text shattering the myth that high civilisation only existed in Egypt. In 2008 he authored Before the Slave Trade, a pictorial companion to When We Ruled. In 2011 and 2012, he wrote a series of e-book lecture-essays on a wide variety of topics ranging from The Black Musical Tradition to the Equinox. Walker’s latest piece Everyday Life in an Early West African Empire (with Siaf Millar and Saran Keita) is available on Amazon. Walker’s collection of writings are invaluable insights into Ancient civilisations for Africans worldwide.

INTERVIEW 
When and why did you begin writing Before the Slave Trade?
In Summer 2006 a colleague invited me to help in teaching a course on Ancient Egypt entitled African Perspectives on Egypt. While planning the programme and reading material for the course, I realised what was missing. I realised that someone needed to write a book that contained the photographic evidence that proved that Ancient Egypt belonged to Africa – a book that contained the authentic portraits of the different pharaohs. Professors Cheikh Anta Diop and Ivan Van Sertima made much headway in their respective books, but they did not publish all the evidence in one place. I began Before the Slave Trade to fulfil this need.
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If Americans Truly Cared About Muslims, They Would Stop Killing Them by the Millions

Submitted by Glen Ford on Wed, 02/01/2017 – 14:17
by BAR executive editor Glen Ford
Americans welcome only token numbers of people from countries devastated by U.S. wars of aggression. Donald Trump’s current ban on travelers affects nations that were already targeted by President Obama, “a perfect example of the continuity of U.S. imperial policy in the region.” The memo from State Department “dissenters” contains “not a word of support for world peace, nor a hint of respect for the national sovereignty of other peoples.”
If Americans Truly Cared About Muslims, They Would Stop Killing Them by the Millions
by BAR executive editor Glen Ford
“Since 2001, war has been normalized in the U.S. — especially war against Muslims.”
In the most dramatic expression of insider opposition to a sitting administration’s policies in generations, over 1,000 [3] U.S. State Department employees signed on to a memo protesting President Donald Trump’s temporary ban on people from seven predominantly Muslim countries setting foot on U.S. soil. Another recent high point in dissent among the State Department’s 18,000 worldwide employees occurred in June of last year, when 51 diplomats called for U.S. air strikes [4] against the Syrian government of President Bashar al Assad.
Neither outburst of dissent was directed against the U.S. wars and economic sanctions that have killed and displaced millions of people in the affected countries: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. Rather, the diplomatic “rebellion” of last summer sought to pressure the Obama administration to join with Hillary Clinton and her “Big Tent” full of war hawks to confront Russia in the skies over Syria, while the memo currently making the rounds of State Department employees claims to uphold [5] “core American and constitutional values,” preserve “good will towards Americans” and prevent “potential damage to the U.S. economy from the loss of revenue from foreign travelers and students.”

In neither memo is there a word of support for world peace, nor a hint of respect for the national sovereignty of other peoples — which is probably appropriate, since these are not, and never have been, “core American and constitutional values.”

“The diplomatic ‘rebellion’ of last summer sought to pressure the Obama administration to join with Hillary Clinton and her ‘Big Tent’ full of war hawks to confront Russia in the skies over Syria.”

Ironically, the State Department “dissent channel” was established during one of those rare moments in U.S. history when “peace” was popular: 1971, when a defeated U.S. war machine was very reluctantly winding down support for its puppet regime in South Vietnam. Back then, lots of Americans, including denizens of the U.S. government, wanted to take credit for the “peace” that was on the verge of being won by the Vietnamese, at a cost of at least four million Southeast Asian dead. But, those days are long gone. Since 2001, war has been normalized in the U.S. — especially war against Muslims, which now ranks at the top of actual “core American values.” Indeed, so much American hatred is directed at Muslims that Democrats and establishment Republicans must struggle to keep the Russians in the “hate zone” of the American popular psyche. The two premiere, officially-sanctioned hatreds are, of course, inter-related, particularly since the Kremlin stands in the way of a U.S. blitzkrieg in Syria, wrecking Washington’s decades-long strategy to deploy Islamic jihadists as foot soldiers of U.S. empire.
The United States has always been a project of empire-building. George Washington called it a “nascent empire [6],” Thomas Jefferson bought the Louisiana Territory from France in pursuit of an “extensive empire [6],” and the real Alexander Hamilton [7], contrary to the Broadway version, considered the U.S. to be the “most interesting empire in the world.” The colonial outpost of two million white settlers (and half a million African slaves) severed ties with Britain in order to forge its own, limitless dominion, to rival the other white European empires of the world. Today, the U.S. is the Mother of All (Neo)Colonialists, under whose armored skirts are gathered all the aged, shriveled, junior imperialists of the previous era.
“The United States has always been a project of empire-building.”
In order to reconcile the massive contradiction between America’s predatory nature and its mythical self-image, however, the mega-hyper-empire must masquerade as its opposite: a benevolent, “exceptional” and “indispensible” bulwark against global barbarism. Barbarians must, therefore, be invented and nurtured, as did the U.S. and the Saudis in 1980s Afghanistan with their creation of the world’s first international jihadist network, for subsequent deployment against the secular “barbarian” states of Libya and Syria.

In modern American bureaucratese, worrisome barbarian states are referred to as “countries or areas of concern” — the language used to designate the seven nations targeted under the Terrorist Travel Prevention Act of 2015 [8] signed by President Obama. President Donald Trump used the existing legislation as the basis for his executive order banning travelers from those states, while specifically naming only Syria. Thus, the current abomination is a perfect example of the continuity of U.S. imperial policy in the region, and emphatically not something new under the sun (a sun that, as with old Britannia, never sets on U.S. empire).
The empire preserves itself, and strives relentlessly to expand, through force of arms and coercive economic sanctions backed up by the threat of annihilation. It kills people by the millions, while allowing a tiny fraction of its victims to seek sanctuary within U.S. borders, based on their individual value to the empire.
“The mega-hyper-empire must masquerade as its opposite: a benevolent, “exceptional” and “indispensible” bulwark against global barbarism.”
Donald Trump’s racist executive order directly affects about 20,000 people [9], according to the United Nations High Commissioner on Refugees. President Obama killed an estimated 50,000 Libyans in 2011, although the U.S. officially does not admit it snuffed out the life of a single civilian. The First Black President is responsible for each of the half-million Syrians that have died since he launched his jihadist-based war against that country, the same year. Total casualties inflicted on the populations of the seven targeted nations since the U.S. backed Iraq in its 1980s war against Iran number at least four million — a bigger holocaust than the U.S. inflicted on Southeast Asia, two generations ago — when the U.S. State Department first established its “dissent channel.”
But, where is the peace movement? Instead of demanding a halt to the carnage that creates tidal waves of refugees, self-styled “progressives” join in the macabre ritual of demonizing the “countries of concern” that have been targeted for attack, a process that U.S. history has color-coded with racism and Islamophobia. These imperial citizens then congratulate themselves on being the world’s one and only “exceptional” people, because they deign to accept the presence of a tiny portion of the populations the U.S. has mauled.

The rest of humanity, however, sees the real face of America — and there will be a reckoning.
BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at Glen.Ford@BlackAgendaReport.com [10].
Links

http://blackagendareport.com/print/stop_killing_muslims


Why So Many Mass Killings? Look in a Mirror

NB Commentary: Think about it. Whether real or contrived, the idea that it happens should cause one to pause and think. Why does this country thrive on this type of fanfare, violence, false flags, hoaxes or whatever you wish to call them? Over and over again, we see people die, or maybe not, killed or maybe not, but whatever the case may be, DEATH is the calling card and then the other is GUN CONTROL. Ironically, the Powers that Shouldn’t Be feel that if they do this enough times they will beat the public down so far they will cry for  two things.

1. More protection from the PTB, which is ironically not being very protective
And
2. Gun Control, which these events just make the sale of guns skyrocket.


So what is the real agenda here? Do they do this to keep the stock market booming with the gun sales, the consumers fear purchases, the media hype and tons and tons of views while they parrot the same story? Somebody is getting over like a fat rat and these events are milking the public of their sensibilities and wreaking havoc on the mental, emotional and physical health of the populace.
Please read this article, it says it all. Whether these events are true or false, the fact that they even happen says a lot about the American Psyche.

Why So Many Mass Killings? Look in a Mirror

By Joe Clifford
June 27, 2016 “Information Clearing House” – We will never understand the mass killings in Orlando, Aurora, Newtown, or any of the many others, until we take a long hard look at ourselves in a mirror. Why does this happen so frequently, and why is it such a rare occurrence in other industrialized nations?  We cannot comprehend this because we fail to come to grips with certain very hard realities about who we are as a nation and a people.
There are cries for gun control every time a massacre occurs, and never once has anyone pointed out the hypocrisy of trying to stop the flow of guns to the US public, while the US government floods the entire world with weapons.  We are the undisputed leader in selling killing weapons around the world, and no ever questions the hypocrisy of a government trying to take guns from its people, while our government and military industrial complex inundates the world with weapons. Government always sets the model for the people, and here we have a great example. 
Mass murderers have absolutely no regard or respect for law, and once again it is the US government who sets the example for its people, by defying international law and invading and bombing anyone in callous contempt of the law.  Government officials huddle secretly once a week to decide what individuals must be “taken out,” paying no attention to the legality of murder without charges, evidence, or a trial. Currently, Secretary of State John Kerry, the nations’ chief diplomat, is calling for regime change in Syria.  What gives the US the legal right to decide who will rule Syria? Nothing; there is no legal right that gives the US the power to determine leadership of another nation.  The US has sponsored untold numbers of illegal coups of democratically elected leaders, but again, so much for the law.  If the US government is so callous about law, and constantly sends the message that we don’t care about law, why would it be a surprise when citizens do the same? The government sets the example and the people follow.
The hardest thing for citizens to reconcile, is just how violent a nation we are. Our government is a mass killer.  The first people to get in our way were exterminated. We ethnically cleansed the American Indian from his own land. We then enslaved a race of people.  More recently, we killed 3 million people in southeast Asia.  Can you explain why?  We have killed about one million over the past 20 years in Iraq.  Do you know why?  We invaded Iraq based on a series of lies claiming they had WMD; a hoax that led to a needless slaughter. Iraq was a war of choice, which is illegal, but who cares about law?
Do you know how many nations the US is currently bombing? We have killed untold innocents in Afghanistan over the last 20 years. Can you explain why?  Do you know why we bombed Libya for 7 months, turning it into a completely failed terrorist state? Media, pundits, and presidential candidates, condemn Muslims, but the US government has bombed 14 Muslim nations, and perhaps has killed as many as 4 million Muslims in our never ending wars.  War has become the American pastime.  We are always looking for new enemies, and when none are around our government creates them up by demonizing leaders who might challenge our authority such as North Korea, Venezuela, Cuba, Russia and China. We are dangerously provoking both Russia and China almost daily. The State Department has been taken over by war crazy neocons who are risking a nuclear holocaust.  It is no wonder that in a poll of 68 nations, the US was named the biggest threat to world peace.
Weapons of war are the leading export.  The military consumes the lion’s share of the US budget, and everything else is sacrificed to pay for the largest military in the history of the planet.  We spend more on security, war, and defense, than the rest of the world put together.  There is no money left for anything else, so kids go to college and acquire a mortgage, while college is free in most industrialized nations.  We have the worst health care in the industrialized world, paying huge sums for poor health care compared to the rest of the world.  Health care is a right in most civilized nations, but they don’t have the enormous cost of never ending wars that we do. They have luxuries such as free college, excellent government health care, high speed trains, great airports, and infrastructure. Other nations, because they have better health care, treat mental illness. We cannot afford it, as all money goes to support the military. Just about all of the mass murderers have been emotionally troubled, but because we do not treat mental illness, they take up arms and kill. We give lip service to our veterans, but let them live under bridges as homeless troubled people. Other nations, offer treatment to troubled individuals.
The murder rate in this country is light years ahead of other nations. We have an industrialized prison system with more people incarcerated than any other country in the world. War is glorified and neither the military nor the police can do anything wrong.  An entire new generation has known only war in their lifetime. African Americans are shot down in cold blood by police, with more than 1000 killed last year, with 50% being unarmed, and none of their killers are held responsible.  Without cell phone videos, those deaths would be swept under the proverbial rug.
So take a long thoughtful look in a mirror.  Government sets the example and we follow.  Our government’s prime concern is making war on others and killing those who get in the way.  We are a cold blooded violent nation led by a cold blooded government, so when all too frequently the blood of our citizens flows in the streets, why are we shocked?

Egyptian Billionaire Offers To Buy A Private Island to House And Feed War Refugees

    NB Commentary:
    Now for some good news. I wonder if Donald Trump thought about doing this for his campaign props. Imagine how many voters would vote him into office if he bought an island for all those immigrants that he says should not be coming into the country. In fact, he could create a nice prison refuge on this already prison refuge and hoard all the Syrian miscreants and Mexicans! Imagine that?

    Donald Trump plans to build a cemetery at Trump National Golf Course in New Jersey’s Bedminster Township

    Well he already bought himself a huge golf course in NJ to bury his old derrière in/on so why not follow in the footsteps of this great billionaire and do the same. In fact, why not let all the billionaires in the world get together and buy a few islands for those folks they feel need to be gotten out of the way of their advancement. I mean this guy is promising to take care of the infrastructure and housing, etc. he just needs some support. What is it better to kill us off and stuff us in mass graves than to give us our own island on this huge planet?? Seriously. You can certainly see how these folks talk out of both sides of their mouths. Their solution to real problems is simply to complain about them or have wars over them, but never to do anything of substance to eradicate the problem. The concept of sharing their wealth is preposterous unless they can gain in some way from it.

    Egyptian Billionaire Offers To Buy A Private Island to House And Feed War Refugees

    By Joseph Gibson on September 7, 2015 in Articles › Billionaire News
    Usually when a billionaire buys a private island, one gets the sense that it’s merely for personal pleasure. Frequently, billionaires buy private islands just so they can keep up with their rival billionaire peers who already own one (or several). But today we’re learning of an Egyptian billionaire who wants to buy an island for a very unique and incredible reason. Egyptian telecommunications tycoon Naguib Sawiris wants to use his hypothetical private island as a place whereinternational refugees and migrants can live in safety and humanity…
    GIUSEPPE CACACE/AFP/Getty Images
    Naguib’s idea isn’t just a Twitter-fueled flight of fancy, he also talked about his idea during a recent television interview. During the interview, he reiterated his plans to approach the governments of Greece and Italy with his idea, going on to say the island would feature “temporary shelters to house the people, then you start employing the people to build housing, schools, universities, hospitals. And if things improve, whoever wants to go back (to their homeland) goes back.” Naguib would front the costs for food, energy, infrastructure and more for as long as was necessary.
    He also said that the current situation for refugees and migrants is unacceptable, saying “The way they are being treated now, they are being treated like cattle.”
     Sawiris’ outrage about the state of refugees throughout the world was reportedly stoked by a famous photo that recently made headlines. The photo shows the body of Aylan Kurdi, a three-year-old boy who drowned when a boat on its way to the Greek island Kos wrecked at sea. The photo showed a single individual who fell victim to poor conditions for immigrants, but it represents a much larger situation that affects many thousands of people every year. Naguib said the he plans to name his island Aylan.

    “My conscience has been awakened by the picture of this child. God put the image of this child in front of us for a reason. He could have been swallowed by the sea… I am serious with my intentions. I want to feel good about having done something good. Provide me with the island and I will do the rest.”

    An estimated 2000 refugees or more have been lost at sea on the way to Europe from places like Syria, Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan in this year alone. Part of this is also because of a general increase in immigration into Europe – Germany in particular is one of the most welcoming countries in the European Union towards immigrants, expected to take in around 800,000 refugees before 2015 comes to a close. But Germany is somewhat of an exception. Other European nations are not nearly as open to accepting immigrants.
    Given these dire circumstances, hopefully Sawiris will make some progress on his plan for a private island specifically for displaced refugees. But it won’t be easy even if he manages to acquire a suitable island (something that would be easier for him than it would be for most other people, with his net worth of some$3 billion). During his aforementioned TV interview, he discussed some of these potential obstacles standing before his dream of an Independence island, like deciding on jurisdictional issues and complying with existing customs laws. But it seems clear that any attempt to improve things toward safer conditions for traveling immigrants and refugees would be a step in the right direction.

A Game Worth the Candle: Terror and the Agenda of our Elites | Articles

A Game Worth the Candle: Terror and the Agenda of our Elites

Chris Floyd

Published: 14 November 2015 
People see the carnage in Paris, and cry, “When will this end?” The hard answer is that it is not going to end, not any time soon. We are living through the horrific consequences of decisions and actions taken long ago, as well as those of being taken right now. The currents and movements set in motion by these actions cannot be quelled in an instant — not by wishing, not by hashtags of solidarity or light shows on iconic buildings … and certainly not by more bombing, destruction, repression and lies, which are the main drivers of our present-day hell.

There will be no end to rampant terrorism soon because our leaders are not really interested in quelling terrorism. This is simply not a priority for them. For example, in the past 12 years they have utterly destroyed three largely secular governments (Iraq, Libya and Syria) and turned them into vast spawning grounds for violent sectarianism. They did this despite reports from their own intelligence services and military analysts telling them that the spread of violent extremism would almost certainly be the outcome of their interventions. But for our leaders — both the elected ones and the elites they serve — their geopolitical and macroeconomic agendas outweighed any concerns over these consequences. Put simply, to them, the game was worth the candle. They would press ahead with their agenda, knowing that it would exacerbate extremism and terrorism, but doubtless hoping that these consequences could be contained — or better yet, confined to nations seen as rivals to that agenda, or to remote places and peoples of no worth to our great and good.
Our leaders are not opposed to terrorism, neither as a concept nor as a practical tool. Over the past several decades, our leaders and their allies and puppets around the world have at times openly supported terrorist violence when it suited their aims. The prime example is in Afghanistan, where Jimmy Carter and his Saudi allies began arming and funding violent jihadis BEFORE the Soviet incursion there. In fact, as Carter’s own foreign policy guru, Zbigniew Brzezinski, has openly stated, the United States began supporting Islamist terrorism in Afghanistan precisely in order to draw the Soviet Union into the country. Despite fierce internal opposition in the Kremlin, the Soviets finally took the bait, and sent in troops to save the secular government it was backing from the fundamentalist rebellion.
Ronald Reagan continued and expanded this policy. The same type of men now in charge of ISIS and al Qaeda were welcomed to the Oval Office and praised by Reagan as “the moral equivalent of our founding fathers.” They were given arms, money and training in terrorist tactics by our military and intelligence services. They were given textbooks — prepared, financed and distributed by the US government — to indoctrinate schoolchildren in violent jihad. The creation of this worldwide network of Islamic extremists was aimed at weakening the Soviet Union. This was the overriding geopolitical concern of the time. Any other consequences that might flow from this policy — creating a global infrastructure of sectarian extremism, seeding a radical minority with arms, funds and innumerable contacts and connections with state were considered unimportant. But we are now living with those consequences.
These are not the only examples of course. For instance, the United States supported — and went to war for — the KLA in Kosovo, a group that it had earlier condemned as terrorists for years. The cultish terror group MEK —which not only carried out deadly terrorist attacks in Iran but also murdered American government officials — is now honored and supported by top politicians from both parties in Washington. The United States now calls al Qaeda associates in Syria “moderate rebels” and provides arms to their allies. The United States is deeply involved in Saudi Arabia’s horrific attack on Yemen against the Houthis, who had been bottling up al Qaeda in the country. Now, thanks to US bombs and guidance — and participation in a blockade of Yemen that is driving the country to starvation — al Qaeda is thriving there again. The violent extremists that the West knowingly and openly helped in NATO’s destruction of Libya are now exporting weapons and terrorists throughout Africa and the Middle East.
Again, in almost all of these cases, Western leaders were specifically warned by their own experts that their actions would exacerbate extremism and violence. And again, with this knowledge, they decided that their geopolitical agendas were more important than these consequences. This agenda — maintaining and expanding their political and economic dominance, and preserving the power and privileges that a militarist empire gives to those at the top — was more important than the security and welfare of their own people.
In this, they are as one with the leaders of ISIS and al Qaeda. They too know that the chief victims of their actions will not be the elites of the West but the ordinary Muslims going about their lives in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, India and elsewhere. But their own similar agenda — power, privilege, domination — outweighs any concerns for innocent human lives.

This is the abysmal, despairing tragedy of our times. Our lives, and the lives of our children and descendants, do not really matter to our leaders; certainly not more than the agendas they pursue. And so despite the horrors we’ve seen in the past few weeks — and yes, the bombing of the Russian airliner, the mass murders in Beirut and Baghdad are every bit as horrific and grievous as the attack on Paris — nothing is likely to change. Our leaders are not even beginning to take the steps necessary to even begin addressing the consequences of their morally demented agenda and at last begin the long process of reversing the current of violence and extremism that assails us. Instead, at every turn, they are adding to the flow of death and madness, despite the stark, undeniable evidence of the consequences of their actions.
They say they are at war with terrorism. It’s a lie. They use terrorism and terrorists when it suits their agenda. They say they are “at war” with ISIS, an enemy which they tell us represents an existential threat to human civilization, and whose destruction is now our “highest priority.”  It’s a lie. In a real war against such a threat, you would make common cause against the common enemy, even if you find your allies distasteful. Thus the mutually loathing capitalists of the West and communists of the Soviet Union (and elsewhere) made common cause against Nazi Germany.
If we were really “at war” with ISIS, if its military defeat really was an overriding concern, then the West would form a military coalition with Iran, Russia, Turkey, the Syrian government and others to carry out this goal. It is obvious that for the West, the overthrow of the Assad government is far more important than defeating ISIS or bringing the conflict in Syria to an end by diplomatic means.

Instead, our leaders give every indication that they will continue the policies that have brought us to this dark and evil place. With the near-total ignorance and amnesia of our media class, there is little hope that public opinion can be mobilized to insist on a new course. And so, at some point soon, we will see more iconic buildings bathed in the colors of a Western nation (but never one from the Middle East, whose peoples suffer more, by several orders of magnitude, from the decades of extremism fostered by the West). And this will go on, year after year, until we decide that human life, human dignity, human freedom are more important than our leaders’ agendas of greed and domination.

America: Your Solidarity with Paris is Embarrassingly Misguided

America: Your Solidarity with Paris is Embarrassingly Misguided



Op-Ed by Claire Bernish
November 14, 2015
(ANTIMEDIA) The World, at Large — We are in mourning. Again. Indeed, Paris is in mourning, again.
For the second time in less than a year, we are all de facto Parisians — with Facebook profiles, casinos, and whole buildings draped in the blue, white, and red of the French flag. Solidarity as sympathy, bien sûr — a most poignant message that humanity stands with Paris — and will act decisively to avenge the “carnage” unexpectedly wrought by those whose motives most will never fall victim to, much less comprehend.
Most?
Evidently, despite the accumulated knowledge of the entire planet at our disposal through the computer screen, solidarity has escaped some of us.
And I am weary.
Without question, I mourn for Paris’ recent victims and their families — and I would never claim knowledgeable firsthand experience of the same. But I refuse — despite my partial French heritage — to cloak myself in nationalism of any stripe or star, particularly not now. Because, besides victims in Paris, an incomprehensibly astronomic number of people have been grieving loss of the highest order for some time — in places whose names roll off our tongues as if it’s accepted that violence simply happens there — and a majority likely couldn’t guess the colors on these victims’ flags.
You see, I also mourn for those killed mere hours before Paris crumbled into chaos, in strikingly similar attacks in Beirut.
I mourn the hundreds of thousands displaced or killed in Syria, no matter their pledged allegiance. No matter their professed religion. No matter.
I mourn for the millions killed in ongoing and renewed, illegal United States’ aggression in Iraq — and those facing a torturous demise from exposure to depleted uranium employed in violation of international and humanitarian law — for reasons far closer to ‘American’ and corporate hegemony than compassionate principle.
I mourn the untold number killed in the United States’ insidious — and seemingly permanent — war in Afghanistan. And the countless children there who know nothing of peace, much less the feeling of safety it brings. And patients and staff recently targeted, bombed, and then shot while fleeing the Médecins Sans Frontières hospital in Kunduz — and the irony of that humanitarian organization’s French roots.
I mourn those forced into human slavery or sex trafficking in Malaysia; and curse the scant hope they escape, now that the massive TPP has garnered U.S. government’s tacit approval of the abhorrence that is human trade.
I mourn for Palestinians, whose land was usurped — and whose lives and infrastructure and families and sense of security and HOMES are under siege and occupation by an illegal and actively terrorist State.
I mourn the patients and staff at the over 100 healthcare facilities in Yemen that have been BOMBED since March. And the apparently soulless who found an acceptable target in hospitals.
I mourn for Yemen.
I mourn for the victims of complicit government violence in Mexico, and 43 students and their families who lack answers.
I mourn for Chinese men, women, and children working, quite literally, as slaves, so the West can be rude at dinner and take endless pictures — of its narcissistically apathetic self.
I mourn rampant genocide — past and present — for the sake of manifest destiny. And empire. And imperialism. And inexplicable and unstated reasons.
In fact, I mourn for all victims of terror, whether State or group sponsored, without conditions attached to my grief — no matter location, nor loyalty, nor arbitrary geopolitical happenstance of location of a victim’s birth. And I’m already grieving those soon to be terror’s next victims; since, as French President François Hollande jarringly warned, avenging Paris’ victims just birthed (yet another) “PITILESS” war.
As if gentle were somehow a method to employ in waging war.
Yes, I mourn for Paris. But I do so while weeping in shame at the deplorable supercilious judgment ensconced in Western reaction to it; for countless pitiable xenophobes and their endless vapid justifications; for arrogant commentary from politicians and their media mouthpieces with their embarrassing post-tragedy clamoring to exploit ignorant heartstrings for the appropriate victims; for the endless War of Terror — and the service members who somehow haven’t yet deduced that this would ALL END if they simply refused to fucking fight.
The fact is, grief on this scale is exhausting. And I’m very nearly out of tears.
So keep these victims around the globe in mind — every, single man, woman and child who has, who is, and who will suffer the maiming, horror, torture, and death that’s as necessary to war as those who take up arms — when you next excuse a politician’s stance on war, because the rest of his or her platform seems really promising.
Or, at least, seems the lesser of two evils.
And shake that flag from your social media profile; and your home; and your thoughts. Because as long as you wear just one flag, your attempt to stand with victims of terror is a most embarrassingly hollow solidarity, indeed.

Don’t Thank Me for My Service, by Camillo Mac Bica

Nana’s Commentary:

All my life I loved fireworks. I would go to the 4th of July display every year that I could. I would lie down on the ground and just take it all in. Then I read about the impact that they have on some veterans. I stopped going.

I think that veterans should be given every single thing they need to make it back to civilian life and then given anything they ask for. They go off and fight a rich man’s war and come back to very poor treatment and little consideration for their PTSD. High rates of domestic abuse, drugs and alcohol use, homelessness, poverty and suicide should not even be mentioned in the same sentence when speaking of a Veteran.

I am totally against the barbarism of war, but if these folks are going to go out there and cause all kinds of devastation to themselves and others for the benefit of the elite, then the elite should take care of them to the utmost degree!! Any country that does not take care of its veterans is truly degenerate and completely lacking of empathy, gratitude or compassion. And that’s what I have to say about that!!

 Don’t Thank Me for My Service

Sunday, 03 June 2012 08:23By Camillo Mac BicaTruthout | Op-Ed
I do not want to appear disrespectful or ungrateful, but should we meet on the street one day, do say “Hello,” or “Fine day” or other such nicety, but please do not thank me for “my service” as a United States Marine. I make this request because my service, as you refer to it, was basically, either to train to become a killer or to actually kill people and blow shit up.
Now, that is not something for which a person should be proud nor thanked. In fact, it is regrettable, and for me a source of guilt and shame, something I will have to live with for the rest of my life, as the past cannot ever be undone. So, when you thank me for my service, it disturbs me … a lot. First off, it brings to mind my wasted youth and lost innocence, and the horrible and unnecessary deaths of good friends and comrades. Second, it reminds me of my responsibility and culpability for the pain and suffering I caused innocent people, again something I would rather forget, but cannot. Third, it reinforces my belief that you have absolutely no idea about the nature and reality of the wars in Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan, because if you did, you would understand that thanks are inappropriate. Fourth, it reminds me that many of those who feel the need to offer thanks were apathetic about – or even supportive of – the war, while they refuse to participate themselves or did little or nothing to end it. And lastly, I have to admit that I doubt the sincerity of these expressions of supposed gratitude, as “Thank you for your service” is just something to say not because you care about what I did or sacrificed, but only to demonstrate your supposed good character, or patriotism and/or “support” for members of the military and veterans.

In making this request not to be thanked for my service, I am, of course, expressing only my opinion, and, perhaps, my idiosyncrasy, and I make no claim to be speaking for other veterans. I would wager, however, that many, perhaps even most, who have experienced the horror of war and have the courage and presence of mind to think about and evaluate what the war they served in was truly about would understand and probably concur with this request. Those veterans, however, who may not agree, who cling to the mythology of heroism, glory, honor and nobility of war, do so in large measure from fear that acknowledging war’s reality would somehow diminish their sacrifice and the sacrifices of those whose lives were lost. Perhaps understandably, they view such sacrifices and loss as difficult enough to live with when they had value and purpose, and as intolerable if they were misguided and unnecessary. To these brothers and sisters, I would offer the following questions and observations for them to ponder.

First, what was accomplished by your sacrifice and by the waste of lives and treasure in Vietnam, in Iraq and in Afghanistan? Where is the honor, glory and nobility in killing and dying for greed, incompetence, and paranoia? Second, the mythology you cling to for comfort is a tool of political leaders to make war palatable, to garner support for their militarism and abandonment of diplomacy. It is what motivates future idealistic, perhaps naive, young people to “heed the call,” to seek honor and glory, by enlisting in the military to fight for a cause they have been deceived into believing is right, just and necessary, but which is, in reality, a string of wars for corporate greed, power and hegemony. All who are touched by war are tainted and require readjustment, perhaps even rehabilitation, but in order to truly come home from war, to make the perilous journey of healing, one must face the realities of one’s own war experience head on, as no healing is possible from fantasy, myth, rationalization and distortion of truth.
So, in the future, if you really insist on thanking me for something, do not thank me for

the eight years I spent as a Marine, but for the 45 or so years following my discharge from the military that I have spent as an activist fighting for human rights and social justice and to end the insanity of war. Frankly, however, I would prefer that you just say hello, or fine day or other such nicety. You see, my activism all these years warrants no praise or merit, as it is not something I choose to do. Rather, I do it because I must, perhaps as penance for my culpability for the sacrilege of war. And if you truly want to demonstrate your good character, patriotism, and support for the troops and veterans, rather than merely mouth meaningless expressions of gratitude for something you don’t truly understand or care much about, do something meaningful and real. Do what is truly in the interest of this nation and of those victimized by war.

Make some demands.

“how can we still have troops in other countries and we celebrate with “bombs”… it would be lovely if we decided not to do them in honor to our troops… That would be a great way to say THANK YOU!”

Demand, for example, an immediate end to the corporate takeover of our “democracy” and to the undue influence of the military-industrial-Congressional complex. Demand sanity in Pentagon spending and a reallocation of finite resources to people-focused programs such as health care, education and jobs rather than to killing and destruction. Demand an immediate end to wars for corporate profit, greed, power and hegemony. Demand that we adhere to the Constitution and to international law. Demand accountability for those who make war easily and care more for wealth, profit and power than for national interest or for the welfare of their fellow human beings. And finally, demand the troops be brought home now, and that they be adequately treated and cared for when they return. So, should we meet on the street one day, do say Hello, or Fine day, and as you talk to me about your efforts to make this country and the world a better and more peaceful place in which to live, I would be happy to thank you for your service.

CAMILLO MAC BICA, PhD, is a professor of philosophy at the School of Visual Arts in New York City. He is a former Marine Corps officer, Vietnam veteran, longtime activist for peace and social justice, and the coordinator of the Long Island Chapter of Veterans for Peace.


Links: 
The Things They Cannot Say

More Than Human? The Ethics of Biologically Enhancing Soldiers

Fireworks, Triggers, PTSD, and Veterans

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