McCarthy witch-hunt is the model for the emerging Muslim witch-hunt

One could call the McCarthy witch-hunt the propaganda apparatus of the US Cold War with the USSR which began after WWII. The fear & war-mongering, the promotion of surveillance & curtailment of civil liberties were unbridled–& quite frankly unhinged. For children, it was a real-life version of Grimm fairy tales, filled with violence & dangers for children.

The McCarthy era developed as I came of age & because my mother was political & right-wing, we grew up schooled in every accusation against “commies” & “pinkos.” Every liberal was suspect, including the TV weatherman & Minnesota’s Democratic Party senators.

That did not break until the 1960s & the emergence of the US civil rights & anti-Vietnam War movements–although in many ways, it still hasn’t broken because socialists are still considered by many as duplicitous & malignant instead of people with a political critique of inequality. Many leftists have crazy-assed ideas but most of them are not dangerous. Especially to the US government.

The Fifties were a relatively quiescent era politically because dissidents were harshly punished by being fired from jobs, socially ostracized, & blacklisted. At a plant where I worked, liberal & socialist workers were met in the parking lot by armed guards & told they didn’t work there anymore. My own family ostracized me when in the 1960s I became a socialist & got involved in antiwar work. My parents were horrified & stormed heaven for my soul; some family members would not allow their children to spend time with me lest I indoctrinate them (as I had been indoctrinated).

That is exactly the kind of dynamic being promoted now by every equivocating statement by Obama about Muslims & immigrants; by figures like Trump, Carson, & the rest of the creeps running for president, offering fascist ideas about Muslims; by the FBI for a slipshod investigation of San Bernardino & a politically motivated rush to judgement that it was related to Muslims; by media which still can’t provide a coherent account of San Bernardino & relies on photo comparisons of the shooters to show their decline into “radicalism.” (The woman, it was claimed, wore lipstick & makeup before she became an ISIS supporter but then went bare-faced as she grew radical. You can’t make this crap up.)

Quiescence is exactly the opposite of what is required to push back the political forces of racism, xenophobia, nationalism coming at us. Rebuilding the international antiwar movement, building Palestinian solidarity & BDS, demanding immigration & refugee rights are central to that campaign. This is when you understand that international solidarity is not a matter of noblesse oblige but a matter of political freedom everywhere &, in fact, a matter of survival.

Common Dreams & Human Rights Watch apologetics for Obama regime titled “Without Prosecution of Bush Officials, Obama Legacy ‘Forever Poisoned'”

Obama with the big toothy grin

Common Dreams, the progressive news website, has just published the most remarkable article entitled “Without Prosecution of Bush Officials, Obama Legacy ‘Forever Poisoned’.” The article is a monument to either a bad case of cognitive dissonance, historical ignorance, or despicable apologetics for the Obama regime. Because the site was initiated by Democratic Party operatives, the latter is more likely.

Drawing on a campaign by Human Rights Watch (HRW), a conservative establishment human rights group (which cannot bring itself to condemn US wars), Common Dreams editors call for a full criminal investigation of former President George W. Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, & all U.S. officials behind the CIA torture program. HRW is going after Obama & his administration for refusing to pursue criminal investigations into CIA torture by claiming there is insufficient evidence for prosecution.

The HRW brief against the Bush regime focuses on officials “who created, authorized, & implemented” the CIA torture program.” Bush was in office from 2001 to 2009–& there’s no question they were a despicable, criminal lot. But the CIA torture program goes back at least five decades more & continues through the Obama era. Is it conceivable HRW is ignorant of that history so well documented by scholars like Alfred W. McCoy, detailing not just CIA torture but involvement in international drug trafficking?

It was naive, but for years after Obama was elected, people blamed his continuance of Bush policies on the difficulties of dismantling the wars, along with the torture programs & violations of civil liberties. Only the most uncritical & credulous can continue to give Obama impunity & excuses. He not only sanctions CIA torture but has initiated several more US wars & made major inroads against the Bill of Rights. Clearly, these policies are bigger than any single presidential regime but are the policy of US neoliberal capitalism.

When Obama admitted in August 2014 that “We tortured some folks,” he made it sound so banal, even folksy. We’re talking waterboarding, anal rape with objects, sensory & sleep deprivation, threats against prisoner’s families, mock executions, broken bones. Those are practices the CIA continues under his regime & for which he is criminally responsible.

Enough with the alibis for the guy with the big toothy grin! HRW, if it was worth its salt, would be demanding the end of all US wars–whoever launched them–& the dismantling of the CIA, along with its torture programs & drug peddling operations. That’s the imperative of human rights.

(Photo of Obama from Wikipedia)

Sean Penn meets Shimon Peres: a tale of Penn’s association with terrorists & tyrants

Sean Penn meets Shimon Peres

It seems to be a de rigueur moment in Israeli propaganda that dignitaries & celebrities visiting Israel meet with Shimon Peres for a photo op. Media reports of Sean Penn’s recent meet & greet with Peres all say it was an awkward encounter between the boor & the terrorist. Why it would be uncomfortable for either one is unexplained.

Penn was in Tel Aviv to give the keynote address at a conference on Israeli aid to Haiti sponsored by IsraAID. No one could doubt the spirit of largesse exists among Israelis but it might be curious that it doesn’t extend to Palestinians except that IsraAID’s money comes primarily from the biggest Zionist organizations in the world. That doesn’t make the organization so much tainted as tendentious–& quite frankly calls into question its actual role in Haiti.

Some will be disappointed in Penn for hobnobbing with Israeli apartheid & with Peres, one of its chief architects. But for those who follow his pernicious role in Haiti, this is par for the course. Penn is a longtime, close collaborator with Haitian president Michel Martelly, a committed Duvalierist & admitted former terrorist member of the Tonton Macoutes. The Macoutes were Haitian paramilitary death squads created by dictator Fran├žois “Papa Doc” Duvalier which continued to operate under the regime of his son dictator Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier.

Both Duvaliers used the Macoutes against political opponents in a reign of terror where hundreds of thousands of people were disappeared, tortured, murdered, stoned, burned alive, their corpses put on display & often hung in trees. Family members who tried to remove the bodies for burial were themselves disappeared. Shades of the Naqba carried out by Zionist paramilitary death squads against Palestinians.

In 2011, when the US brought their ally Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier back from the exile he had been driven into by popular revolt in 1986, Penn socialized & collaborated openly with him. None are too contemptible or monstrous in criminality for Penn to associate with.

Martelly & Penn collaborated with Hillary Clinton (as US Secretary of State) & Bill Clinton (orchestrating activities for the US government in Haiti while enriching his personal fortunes) in turning post-hurricane Haiti into a sweatshop economy. Using coercion & ignoring the needs & demands of the Haitian people, they prioritized & fast-tracked infrastructure projects like industrial parks with sweatshops, highways, telecom, building the tourist industry, & privatizing public services–all of which suit the needs of international capital & exploitation. They refused to build homes, health centers, & schools–which suit the needs of the Haitian people, many of whom still live in squalid camps after the 2010 hurricane. Penn was/is with the Clintons & Martelly every step of the way, trying to provide a babyfaced, “good-guy” humanitarian image to ruthless plunder.

If there was any discomfort on Penn’s part in shaking hands with Peres, it wouldn’t be due to the latter’s role as architect of Israeli apartheid & ethnic cleansing but that Penn’s role in Haiti is now open to question. At least now the truth is out about the contemptible fraud called the humanitarianism of Sean Penn.

(Photo of Penn & Peres from still shot of video)

The British moochocracy & Israel: a history of mutual colonialism & plunder

Charles (CC BY-SA, Dan Marsh, Flickr)

Those lauding or chastising Charlie Windsor’s decline of Netanyahu’s invitation to visit Israel are missing out on the last nearly 68 years of history & the political relationship between Israel & the UK. The two colonial powers remain on the best of terms & cooperation since Britain handed over Palestine to Zionist paramilitary forces for colonization.

The British moochocracy doesn’t refuse to go to Israel to show solidarity or express concern for Palestinian self-determination or take a stand against Israeli apartheid but only to avoid any unseemly uproars that would muss Betty or Charlie’s coifs & bring down criticism on them. They leave their dirty work to minions like Cameron & war criminal Tony Blair.

In 2008, Betty honorarily appointed Shimon Peres to the Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael & Saint George, a British order of chivalry awarded to those “who hold high office or who render extraordinary or important non-military service in a foreign country.” Peres, who is a former Israeli president & prime minister is also a former paramilitary terrorist who later served as minister of defense & helped form the ruthless Israeli military.

Israeli officials reportedly bristle at the UK’s refusal to let Betty or other moochocrats visit but this should be taken no more seriously than Netanyahu’s snitty tensions with Obama. There’s no new strategic relationship here. Not as long as billions of dollars in aid & armaments keep flowing. And not as long as Israel, as a military fortress more than a nation, is pivotal to US-European hegemony in the Middle East.

Cut the crap & build BDS.

(Photo of Charlie Windsor by CC BY-SA, Dan Marsh, Flickr)