September 20 2021 The Doom of Man Pandemic Has Come to the Ball

     As twin systemic failures and existential threats, the Pandemic and the disasters of climate change have exposed the faultiness of our civilization, and the terrible humanitarian crises of disease, fire, and floods have hammered us into strange and new forms and confronted us with our limits through death and life disruptive events.

     What can we learn from the Pandemic, and from death? 

     As public spaces empty, hospitals turn away patients for whom there are no beds, economies fail and both persons and nations sever the ties that bind us together in a global civilization and become islands unto themselves, and the modern pathology of disconnectedness and alienation becomes pervasive and institutionally reinforced in the wake of a great tide of fear and the terror of our nothingness, an emerging truth becomes clear; like the figure of the plague in Poe’s Masque of the Red Death, the Doom of Man Pandemic has come to the ball and no one is safe from its deadly embrace, not even the elites who had thought themselves beyond reach within the walls of their palaces.

    It is a disaster created by political decisions and the Gordian Knot of oil as a strategic resource of elite hegemonies of wealth, power, and privilege, privatization and plutocratic capitalism as instruments of authoritarian  hierarchies of membership and exclusionary otherness which are interdependent with divisions of identitarian racism and patriarchy, fascisms of blood, faith, and soil, and a carceral state of authoritarian force and control which manifests in police, prisons, borders, and universal surveillance and the falsifications of propaganda; and all of this combines as an engine of death and dehumanization to bring us ecological devastation and human extinction through climate change and the Pandemic.

     Nor will the current Pandemic, terrible though it is, be the last test of our social cohesion, mutual interdependence, and solidarity we will face; I expect it is but the first of many successive and worsening waves of plagues to hammer us.

     Our nation dies helplessly and alone in despair, like our loved ones whose breath and life are stolen by a disease of terror which need not have been unleashed, and the greatest horror is that they might have lived had they not been sacrificed in service to power. For each of us who has died has been murdered by Our Clown of Terror, Traitor Trump, and his Party of Treason and Terror as surely as if they had been delivered to the gas chambers of the Holocaust. Science denialism has been weaponized as a loyalty test in vaccine and mask denial, exactly like the suicide Kool-Aid that Jim Jones demanded his followers drink to prove their loyalty; the Fourth Reich of Trump and the Republican Party have betrayed their followers to their deaths, and all of us with them.

     For disease has no borders and moves among us like an ambush predator wearing the faces of our family and friends, waiting its moment to strike with silent and unseen death.

     How can we respond to this existential threat? We must heal the failed systems from whence it comes.

     As I wrote in my post of June 24 2021, What Does the Pandemic Warn Us Of?; The limits of control, the lies and illusions of authoritarian states, and the weaponization of faith in technocratic elites as Plato’s philosopher kings combine in the Pandemic as a man made disaster of political failures to leverage change through destabilization of ossified and hollow forms of power. 

     The failures of humankind’s responses to the Pandemic are a measure of the distances we have between us and a free society of equals, between authoritarian and democratic societies.

     It is also a symptom of the mechanical failure of capitalism from its internal contradictions, like the widening gyre between social classes in the global precariat and the ponderous destabilization of the wealth of nations. Herein are direct consequences of privatization and the emergence of a corporate, oligarchic, and plutocratic elite as it frees itself from its host political systems and claims dominion over humankind.

     Ecological disaster and the immanent threat of human extinction, driven by political and economic failures, a direct result of our civilizational dependence on fossil fuels as a strategic resource of global dominion and elite wealth and power, can be read in the signs of the Pandemic and of fire and drought, storms and flood, which have seized the earth in the past few years.

     As we bid farewell to yet another summer of record heat waves and water scarcity, let us reflect on the year that may come in which the heat wave never subsides, but worsens, and the wells run dry. Such a time may now be inevitable, and we may have less than two decades in which to change our fate.

    If we are to survive, what must change?

     As I wrote in my post of February 23 2021, Origins of the Disaster: Elitism and Racist Inequalities and Injustices Drive Our Catastrophic Systems Failures in Our Responses to the Pandemic; Beyond the failures of our government and our economy of disaster capitalism which rig the game to serve the interests of power and wealth, there is the pervasive and endemic racism as the basis of both, the gorilla in the room of our legacy of historical injustices and inequalities like Klimt’s image of Typhoeus in the Beethoven Frieze, which reimagines Goya’s interpretation of a parallel myth in Saturn Devouring His Children, confronts us with a chthonic figure of America’s shadow self which we drag behind us like an invisible reptilian tail.

     There is no liberty for anyone unless there is equality for everyone.

     And like Klimt’s bestial rebel or Goya’s mad emperor, this power asymmetry and identitarian elitism creates authority and legitimates our subjugation by it, which in recursion authorizes identities and births tyrannies and fascisms of blood, faith, and soil.

     Fear, power, force; here lies the heart of state tyranny and terror, racist police gun violence and white supremacist terror, vote suppression and the subversion of democracy, the falsification of ourselves through propaganda and the shaping of some of us into monsters with which to terrorize and control the others; but also of our plutocratic and oligarchic capitalist kleptocracy and the policies of deregulation and privatization which are directly responsible for the systemic failures of our responses to the Pandemic, and to its origins in ecological collapse and disaster capitalism.

     As I wrote in my post of February 22 2021, The Pandemic Consumes America: On the Wisdom of Our Darkness and the Brokenness of the World;      In a magisterial address to the nation and a ceremony of shared grieving and trauma, President Biden spoke to us all today of the fragile nature of our lives and the necessity of our humanity in helping each other survive and heal from existential threats.

     For on this day we passed half a million deaths from the Pandemic, many times more than any other nation on earth while commanding more of its resources than any.

     Why is our death toll so high compared with the rest of the world?

     Because Trump, and his collaborators, enablers, and co-conspirators which includes the Republican Party, intentionally sabotaged our nation’s response and weaponized the Pandemic as an instrument of racist genocide and the Quarantine as an instrument of repression of dissent against the Black Lives Matter protests.

     All of us who have lost a family member or loved one to the Pandemic are victims of the Republican campaign of fascist tyranny and white supremacist terror, targets or collateral damage of genocidal ethnic cleansing and authoritarian marginalization, silencing, and erasure of nonwhite champions of racial justice, equality, and our universal human rights.

     For this there must be a reckoning, but first we must survive and heal together, as a united America and humankind.

     As written by Daniel Strauss in The Guardian; “In a somber address to the nation as the US surpassed half a million coronavirus deaths on Monday, Joe Biden urged the country to unify in its battle against the virus.

     “I ask all Americans to remember those we lost and those we left behind. But as we all remember, I also ask us to act, to remain vigilant, to stay socially distanced, to mask up, get vaccinated when it’s your turn,” the president said in his address from the White House.

     “We must end the politics of misinformation that’s divided families, communities and the country; that’s cost too many lives already,” Biden continued in his speech. “It’s not Democrats or Republicans who are dying from the virus. It’s our fellow Americans, it’s our neighbors. It’s our friends, our mothers, our fathers, our daughters, husbands, wives. We have to fight this together as one people, as the United States of America. That’s the only way we’re going to beat this virus, I promise you.

    As a nation, we can’t accept such a cruel fate. While we’ve been fighting this pandemic for so long, we have to resist becoming numb to the sorrow,” Biden said.

     “Let this not be a story of how far we fell, but how far we climbed back up. We can do this,” Biden said.

     “This nation will smile again. This nation will know sunny days again. This nation will know joy again and as we do we’ll remember each person we’ve lost, the lives they’ve lived, the loved ones they’ve left behind. We will get through this, I promise you.”

     Biden’s speech was bookended by solemn rituals to honor the 500,000 deaths.”

     As reported by the BBC; “The US has topped over 500,000 deaths in the Covid-19 pandemic.

     It will be the latest grim milestone for a country that has by far the highest death toll in the world from the virus.

     The US has seen more than twice as many deaths as the next hardest-hit country, Brazil.

     The first known US death from the virus came on 6 February 2020.

     That means half a million lives have been lost in just over one year, more than the US death tolls from World War I, World War II and the Vietnam War combined.

     To put that into perspective…

If every death came from the city of Atlanta, nearly its entire population would be wiped out.

If you held a minute’s silence consecutively for every person who has died from Covid in the US, it would take 347 days, almost a full year, to honour them all.”

      But this death toll does not represent the mass scale of our shared national trauma and grieving; a bereavement multiplier study has found that nearly nine people are left grieving for each of these deaths, or four and a half million Americans.”

September 19 2021 Subversion of Democracy in Legislative Attempts to Make Voting Meaningless

We have emerged victorious against the forces of repression and hegemonic elites in the test of our democracy in the California Recall, and now is the time to reverse the tide of legislative theft of citizenship and the subversion of democracy through vote suppression, recalls, gerrymandering, and other forms of electoral white supremacist terror and the re-enslavement of Black citizens.

     Why now? Because the people understand the true nature of these legislative attempts to disenfranchise them as racist terror, and we have a vast alliance of electoral political activism and mass action organized during the heroic months of the Black Lives Matter protests of last year; all we need do is address this as a single issue, the racist assault on democracy.

   Let us use the law of conservation of momentum to shape this wave of public outrage into transformational change. We must seize the moment of our triumph to secure forever the institutions of a free society of equals from subversion, for the plot of the Fourth Reich against America is embedded in our political system and its institutions through infiltration and can coordinate with deniable assets outside its structures to enact terror and treason, as it did in the January 6 Insurrection and the many failed coups prior to that.

     The danger is not yet past, though we have begun the great work of the Restoration of America in the Biden Presidency, and to fascism we must give the only reply it merits; Never Again.

     As I wrote in my post of September 29 2020, Trump Attempts to Steal the 2020 Election by Rendering the Vote Meaningless;  Having been exposed as a traitor and Russian agent whose mission is the subversion of democracy and the inversion of our values of freedom, equality, truth, and justice, and having failed in no less than three coup attempts this year to seize tyrannical powers by directing his deniable assets among the white supremacist terrorists to disrupt and discredit the Black Lives Matter protests for equality and racial justice by committing arson, looting, and violence, in the first attempts by calling on the National Guard and the Armed Services to occupy our Democratic cities which was ended with their refusal to violate their oaths of service to the Constitution, in the third attempt to send a special force of secret police to enact state terror and tyranny and occupy America with federal troops under the auspices of Homeland Security, which failed utterly as Trump and his fascist minions Attorney General William Barr and Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf have publicly admitted defeat of their occupation forces and ceded control to the people of the victorious Autonomous Zones of Portland, Seattle, and New York; having failed in his treasonous conspiracies to seize totalitarian powers by threat of force Trump now attempts to render the vote meaningless by misdirections and distortions of the truth, captured and lost in the myriad reflections, echoes, and false images of his funhouse mirrors of lies.

     Lies are all Trump has; strip him of his Cloak of Illusions and Lies and his true nature as a monster and predator is revealed to the world.

      These are the four primary duties of a citizen in any free society of equals regarding unjust authority; Question Authority, Expose Authority, Mock Authority, Challenge Authority.

     How do you spell Trump? Treason, Racism, Untruth, Misogyny, Predator.

     As Barton Gellman writes in The Atlantic; “The political system may no longer be strong enough to preserve its integrity. It’s a mistake to take for granted that election boards and state legislatures and Congress are capable of drawing lines that ensure a legitimate vote and an orderly transfer of power. We may have to find a way to draw those lines ourselves.”

     “Only once, in 1877, has the Interregnum brought the country to the brink of true collapse. We will find no model in that episode for us now.

     Four states sent rival slates of electors to Congress in the 1876 presidential race between Democrat Samuel Tilden and Republican Rutherford B. Hayes. When a special tribunal blessed the electors for Hayes, Democrats began parliamentary maneuvers to obstruct the electoral count in Congress. Their plan was to run out the clock all the way to Inauguration Day, when the Republican incumbent, Ulysses S. Grant, would have to step down.

     Not until two days before Grant’s term expired did Tilden give in. His concession was based on a repugnant deal for the withdrawal of federal troops from the South, where they were protecting the rights of emancipated Black people. But that was not Tilden’s only inducement.

     The threat of military force was in the air. Grant let it be known that he was prepared to declare martial law in New York, where rumor had it that Tilden planned to be sworn in, and to back the inauguration of Hayes with uniformed troops.

     That is an unsettling precedent for 2021. If our political institutions fail to produce a legitimate president, and if Trump maintains the stalemate into the new year, the chaos candidate and the commander in chief will be one and the same.”

     Here is my previous coverage of Trump’s three coup attempts:

     June 8 2020 Hope Dawns: Trump’s Regime of Tyranny and White Supremacist Terror Begins Its Collapse; Hope dawns with a new day in America and the first victories of the people as Trump’s regime of tyranny and white supremacist terror begins its collapse. With key figures and icons of conservativism declaring against him and his policies of racism and totalitarian force and control, and unable to break the People’s Siege of the White House, Trump has ceded victory to democracy and rescinded his order to the military to place America under martial law as an occupation force.

     Trump’s coup is broken, his conspiracy to use deniable forces of armed racist lynch mobs and agents provocateurs and their infiltration agents within our police to disrupt the peaceful protests against racist police violence with greater racist police violence as a fig leaf for his seizure of totalitarian powers and the fall of democracy in America stands exposed before the world in its naked evil and threat to all humankind.

     Much remains to be done. We must begin the transformation of our society to realize the dream of co-ownership of the state by its citizens in a true democracy anchored by our values of Freedom, Equality, Truth, and Justice, and secured by our universal human rights, and leverage our revolutionary movement for racial justice and a free society of equals into structural and systemic change. 

     We have taken the streets; now we must reclaim and reshape the institutions of our government which are the guarantors of our liberty. Let us celebrate and rejoice in our defiance and challenge of injustice and unequal power, and the necessary work of dethroning and bringing to justice tyrants and monsters like Traitor Trump, but we must not settle for their heads on our wall. Beyond these symbolic victories, we must bring meaningful change to the systems and structures in which such abominations arise and are embedded.

    We must say to Trump and to all those who would enslave us, Never Again.

     June 20 2020, A Failed Re-Election Rally Follows a Failed Coup Against Democracy; The rats are abandoning a sinking ship; the failure of Trump’s coup against democracy earlier this month, in which his deniable forces of white supremacist terrorists enacted a national campaign of arson, vandalism, and violence, and coordinated with the assassination of police officers, to disrupt the peaceful protests for equality and racial justice and provide a pretext for a military occupation of America by the most successful agent the KGB ever ran against us, foundered on the shoals of our armed services loyalty to their oaths to our Constitution.

      Restarting his re-election campaign at the site of the American Kristallnacht and using the red triangle of the Holocaust to refer to a boogeyman opposition which is nonexistent as an organization are acts of desperation by a tyrant who knows he is losing; also bareknuckle appeals to his white supremacist terrorist supporters.

     The tik tok messaging campaign by young people was also stunningly successful and demonstrates that Trump can be defeated on his own ground of lies and deception. Plus, the average teenager is smarter and better educated than he is.

     July 18 2020, Fear and Loathing in Portland; Our government of tyranny and terror has loosed the dogs of war in Portland, kidnapping and illegally imprisoning random protesters who have done nothing but exercise their rights as citizens to free assembly and free speech.

     This is a classic strategy of repression; an attempt to provoke armed revolt and discredit the protests for equality and racial justice. To those who now intend escalation and response in kind; this would play directly into the trap set by our rogue government.

     In June Trump attempted a coup by using white supremacist terrorists as agents provocateurs to disrupt protests, which failed when our military refused to abandon their oaths to the Constitution. This month he tries the same gambit, enacted by black ops units of Homeland Security who have sworn no oaths to anything and serve only wealth and power, who are without honor or loyalty.

     Don’t take the bait.

     In the guerilla theatre of protest, occupation, and confrontation, victory is achieved by seizing the moral high ground and delegitimizing the enemy by maneuvering them into the public use of terror, torture, or other criminal acts. We have already won this contest when the fascist regime which has hijacked America openly sends troops to kidnap its citizens because without moral suasion or justice, empty force is all they have.

     The acting Secretary of Homeland Security, Chad Wolf, who will one day answer for his crimes, has called us anarchists. This is untrue as a group for the protesters in general, and an obvious deflection and misdirect as it is Trump and his minions among the forces of state terror and control who are the agents of racist violence and the subversion of democracy. Trump and Wolf wish to conjure anarchists as scapegoats for their reign of terror; let us teach them anarchy.

     Renounce the use of social force and resist unjust authority by disobedience. Leave evil to the minions of evil, and triumph over the seduction of power and the misogyny of violence.

     July 22 2020 All the King’s Horses and All the King’s Men: At the Threshold of the Fall of America; It seems Trump is now close to finally achieving his lifelong dream of inciting a race war as a fig leaf for his subversion of democracy and his reign as tyrant of a triumphant Fourth Reich, a dream of white supremacy he was bequeathed as successor in the Trump dynasty of Klu Klux Klan enthusiasts, Confederate sympathizers, and patriarchal racists who made their fortune from sex trafficking and brothels in Alaska and reinvested it in real estate where as anti-Semites they made even more money preying on Jewish vulnerability and need for acceptance and protection.

     We have chosen as leader of our nation and role model of our future the patriarch of a family whose rise to wealth and power resembles that of the slavers and grandees of Imperial Spain, and whose primary relation to others is that of a predator.

     Each of us bears the weight of our history like a shell, and we ourselves are a kind of prochronism, a history expressed in our form of how we have solved problems of adaptation and growth throughout our lives and across vast epochs of family legacy and cultural context. We must choose our actions in this time at the threshold of the Fall of America as a democracy with care and as a design for the future, for our descendants will live with the consequences of our choices for a long time, perhaps millennia.

     Trump and his Party of Treason have used white supremacist ideology as a spike of division with which to drive apart the faultlines of America and of civilization, in the subversion of democracy and our values of freedom, equality, truth, and justice, and in the theft of our liberty and the concentration of wealth and power in the hands of a few oligarchic families at the apex of a pyramid of patriarchs of Gideonite fundamentalism and misogyny, white supremacist terror and racism, and the authoritarianism of state force and control and a militarized society.

      Of these systems and structures of inequality, tyranny, lies, and injustice, and the atavisms of barbarism which drive them, fear and hate as shaped by submission to authority, a Fourth Reich emerges from the shadows of the past which we drag behind us like an invisible reptilian tail to seize and claim us. In Portland this week, and throughout our nation if Trump’s plan of occupation is unopposed, secret police repress dissent with abductions and brutality in criminal disregard of our rights as citizens and as human beings.

     This we must resist, for it is victory or death for our liberty and a free society of equals. Victory or Death was the battle cry of George Washington at Trenton

in the American Revolution against tyranny and the idea that some persons are by right of birth better than others. My family have preserved the idea of this triumphant moment of resistance and solidarity when all seemed lost at one of history’s turning points as a motto by which we have lived; so must it now be for us all.

     The peace of the city at night is still shattered by the sounds of gunfire and songs of resistance as we gather to share what we have learned as the witness of history, and as my night watch begins I record some few thoughts here in my journal, reflecting on its purpose.  Of what use are words against the madness of tyranny, violence, and the depravity of a regime of state terror? Why do I write, and for whom?

     My purpose here is to mock, expose, and challenge authority; to incite, provoke, and disturb. I write for the powerless and the dispossessed, and against their silence, erasure, and marginalization. Especially do I champion the cause of transgression of the boundaries of the Forbidden, celebrate chaos as the limitless possibilities of becoming human, and struggle against divisions of exclusionary otherness.

     Often do I think of Camus while writing, for he also wrote in a time of darkness and decision, for those who must claw their way out of the ruins and make yet another last stand, beyond hope of victory or even survival. Yet countless numbers of people did exactly that, as heroes of nations or as anonymous members of the Resistance, and here we all are today to carry forward the struggle.

     Our choice is now between liberty or tyranny, resistance or submission to force and control, and a future for humankind as a free society of equals or in subjugation to fascisms of blood, faith, and soil.

     Resist!

      August 29 2020, Police Collaboration in White Supremacist Terror: the Case of Kenosha; Police have been infiltrated by white supremacist organizations since the Civil War. They are also a primary funnel and grooming onramp for terror and racism, a development of prewar slavecatching gangs.

     Kenosha is part of a planned, organized campaign of terror in which police and white supremacist forces act together to repress dissent and create violence and destruction so that Trump can send federal troops to occupy Democratic cities. This is more than racist violence; it is a coup.

     There can be only one reply to fascism and tyranny; Never Again.

      We shall resist the Republican subversion of democracy and their cabal of white supremacist terrorists, Gideonite fundamentalist patriarchs, foreign puppetmasters, and plutocratic thieves of public wealth unto our liberation from inequalities of race and gender and divisions of exclusionary otherness.

      Where there is fear, let there also be hope. This is the true mission of Antifa.

     All those who remain loyal to their oaths to our Constitution and to America as a free society of equals, I call on you to stand together once again as a Band of Brothers and resist the Fourth Reich and the Party of Treason. Let us remain unconquered and be free.

     God Bless America; we’re going to need it.

     August 30 2020 Trump’s Third Coup Attempt Claims A Life In Portland;

A shockwave runs through our community and our nation with the first documented act of violence by a protestor in three months of action in one thousand seven hundred American cities in all fifty states; like many such incidents, the events are simple to relate but have far reaching consequences. A member of a racist and violent armed militia, the Proud Boys, shot frozen paintballs from concealment among hundreds of gun waving Trump enthusiasts in a six hundred car column which had descended on Portland from across the country to intimidate and provoke antiracist protestors, and someone in the crowd answered force with force, killing him. 

     I grieve with the family and friends of the slain, for we are all family who are human. This is a loss to us all and to the cause of freedom, for those who would enslave us have divided us against each other and our common interest both as citizens and as human beings.

     In this terrible tragedy let us remember that everyone seduced by the propaganda of hate and fear and by submission to authority is a loss to the cause of liberty and a fellow victim of the state, who has been turned against his own class interest by patriarchy and racism as strategies of division by the plutocratic elite. Those in red hats, the color of the Republican Party which represents the blood of slaves who built this nation and the heroes who gave their lives to liberate them in the Civil War, are victims just as those whom they seek to harm, and represent our failure to reach out to them and help them to overcome overwhelming and generalized fear and to embrace others who are different from themselves as fellow Americans and as bothers and sisters in our diverse human family.

     And with this first violent act by a protestor who in a subsequent filmed interview claimed to have returned fire when fired upon in what he believed was a murder attempt, justifiable self defense by any standard, an incident which the police have reconstructed using city surveillance camera evidence as an entirely different story, one in which he ambushes a victim chosen at random long after the motorcade has left and night has fallen, clearly murder if true, and who the police assassinated to silence, a Rashomon Gate tale of confusion, relative truths, and unreliable witnesses, we have crossed a line which may be difficult to recover, and taken the fate of our nation down a much darker path.

       The scope of choices in our possible futures and the destiny of humankind became lesser today.

       This was the intention of Trump and the Fourth Reich of state terror and tyranny in organizing and directing a huge six hundred car caravan of fanatical followers brandishing guns to intimidate and provoke protestors into violent reaction, as with the white supremacist militia and their infiltration agents within the police force throughout our nation during the past three months of the Season of Fire who have committed arson, looting, and violence as agents provocateurs to discredit and capture the narrative of the protests and provide a causus belli for the federal occupation of Democratic cities. Trump set out his followers as stalking goats, hoping some would die.

     If you point a gun or what looks like one at Americans to threaten and intimidate us, we will not submit; we will resist. If you shoot at us, we will reply in kind. If you send secret police in unmarked cars and in sterile uniforms without badges identifying them as officers of the law to kidnap and terrorize us, we will ambush and capture them. If you come to our cities to steal our rights as citizens to speak and organize against injustice, we will identify you and come to your home in return.

     Trump and his strategist of state terror Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf know this, and are counting on it. This is pivotal to the Fourth Reich’s plan to overthrow democracy; they want to start a race war, and we must not take the bait. We must deny Trump a pretext for his coup.

      Today America has survived Trump’s third attempt to stage a coup in as many months, something of a tradition on his part now, and one of us has died for it, sacrificed on the altar of his self-aggrandizement. Let it be the last; Trump isn’t worth the life of any one of us, no matter who that may be.

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2020/11/what-if-trump-refuses-concede/616424/

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/sep/25/donald-trump-democracy-america-conservatives-power-us

https://jacobinmag.com/2020/06/donald-trump-war-american-democracy-riots-coronavirus

September 18 2021 Anniversary of the 1982 Shatila and Sabra massacres in Lebanon

     In a three day massacre between September 16 and 18 1982, one of the most horrific genocidal mass murders in history was perpetrated in the Shatila and Sabra refugee camps against the people of Palestine, which marked the beginning of twenty years of Israel occupation of Lebanon.

     Let us honor our sacred dead and those who fought in resistance to state terror and crimes against humanity, but let us also never forget the names of its perpetrators nor rest in our vigilance to see them brought to justice. Who is responsible for this terrible crime?

     Planned and directed in personal meetings by Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin, Minister of Defense Ariel Sharon, Mossad Director Nahum Admoni, Foreign Minister Yitzhak Shamir, Director of Military Intelligence Yehoshua Saguy, Division Commander Beirut Amos Yaron, US diplomat Morris Draper acting under orders from President Ronald Reagan, President of Lebanon Bashir Gemayel, a Jesuit educated C.I.A. operative recruited when he was a lawyer working in Washington D.C., Chief of Lebanese Military Intelligence Johnny Abdu, and  Phalange leader Elie Hobeika, along with other representatives of Israeli-American interests and the Phalange, a quasi-fascist Christian Maronite militia founded by the newly elected President of Lebanon’s father. Gemayel rose to leadership by murdering the families of Lebanon’s former Presidents, bankrolled by Ronald Reagan at the request of Ariel Sharon, and became President on August 23 as a result of the June 6 Israeli invasion of Lebanon.

     Thus the stage was set for the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians who had been driven from their homes by Israel into the wretched refugee camps in Lebanon, where the survivors remain today.

     How long must the dead and their descendants wait for justice?

    In Preventing Palestine: A Political History from Camp David to Oslo, Seth Anziska writes “Under the leadership of Prime Minister Menachem Begin and Minister of Defense Ariel Sharon, the Israeli government launched an invasion in June of that year partly on the pretext of stopping Palestinian militant rocket fire on the Galilee region of northern Israel. After the 1979 peace treaty with Egypt, Israeli leaders had also become increasingly anxious about the power of the PLO and the growing links between Palestinians inside the occupied territories and across the Arab diaspora. The main focus of their concern was on Lebanon, where the PLO had relocated its center of operations from Jordan after an armed confrontation with King Hussein’s army in 1970–1971. Israeli strategists believed that targeting the PLO in Lebanon and forcing its withdrawal would accomplish several objectives: the quashing of Palestinian national aspirations for a homeland, the expulsion of Syria’s troops from Lebanon and the elimination of Syrian influence there, and the establishment of a client Maronite Christian state as a close ally.

     Instead of entrenching Israeli dominance over its northern neighbor, the Lebanon War morphed into what some have called “Israel’s Vietnam.” In the midst of an already brutal civil war, the Israeli intervention resulted in the deaths of more than 600 Israeli soldiers and at least 5,000 Lebanese and Palestinian civilians—over 19,000 by Lebanese estimates that counted combatants as well. Closely coordinated with Maronite forces, Israel’s invasion soon devolved from being a limited incursion to a summer-long siege against the PLO’s stronghold in West Beirut. Unlike the wars in 1948, 1967, or 1973, Israel was unequivocally engaged in what Begin called a “war of choice.” Combining military force with psychological operations, Israeli forces inflicted heavy casualties inside an Arab capital for the first time, bombarding Palestinian positions from land, sea, and air, while occupying Lebanon’s international airport.

     President Ronald Reagan, disturbed by the images of destruction, pushed his administration to negotiate an end to the fighting and to facilitate a peaceful evacuation of PLO fighters from the city to neighboring Arab states. The PLO leader, Yasser Arafat, had signaled that he and his men were willing to withdraw provided that the PLO had the requisite American guarantees of security for Palestinian civilians and Lebanese supporters who remained behind. Sharing the draft of the withdrawal agreement with Shafiq al-Hout, Arafat sounded a wistful note about the departure: “Beirut has given Palestine what no other Arab capital has. It has given and given, without asking for anything in return. And it never would ask. Nor should we make it ask. We should pay it back of our own free will.”

     The first contingent of PLO fighters left the city on August 21, with Arafat and leading PLO officials departing on a Greek shipping vessel to Tunisia on August 30. In all, some 10,000 fighters left Lebanon by sea and land routes, pushing the PLO into still deeper exile. Even after the heaviest fighting ended, a protracted Israeli occupation of the south of the country lasted until 2000, reshaping the politics of the region. Syrian influence over the country continued, but increasingly it was supplanted by Iranian power with the rise of Hezbollah. Far from cementing Israel’s regional hegemony, the 1982 War ultimately undercut Israeli and American influence in the Middle East, while transforming perceptions of both Zionism and Palestinian nationalism around the globe.”

     As Nabil Mohamad of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee wrote in al Jazeerah in 2017;  “A fourth generation is now growing up in the squalid refugee camps in Lebanon. In Sabra and Shatila, most living spaces consist of two very small rooms: a bedroom, where the entire family sleeps, and a living room of sorts. There is no ventilation, and hardly any electricity. Most families use battery-powered lighting. Drinking tap water is prohibited, as it is full of bacteria and very salty – it actually corrodes pipes. There are poor sanitary conditions. Medications for all illnesses are in short supply. Narrow alleyways – some with sewage running through – wind through the camps. When it rains these small paths become muddy. Electrical wires hang from dwellings. Young men connect and reconnect wires; from time to time, someone is electrocuted. Foul odours emanate from those crowded conditions. Illness is rampant. The Palestinian refugees in Lebanon long to return from exile to the homeland they were expelled from but are not permitted to do so by Israel, simply because they are not Jewish.

     If the international community is obliged to remedy its moral responsibility to the victims of the Sabra and Shatila massacre by working to end Israel’s occupation and other abuses of Palestinian rights, then the lives of my family members and the others we remember on this 35th year will not have been lost in vain.”

     Let me now append my own witness of history here, for the days of this anniversary immerse me in memories, both those of which I cannot speak and those which I cannot bear alone.

     In my post of July 31 2020, A Useful Past: What is Antifa? I wrote; “ I offer you the Oath of the Resistance as it was given to me in Beirut in 1982 by Jean Genet; here is the story of how it happened, and of my true origin.

     During the summer before my senior year of university in San Francisco, I had set out on a culinary Grand Tour of the Mediterranean, learning to cook the food I loved, and was in Beirut when Israel invaded Lebanon and trapped me in a city under siege. Feral bands of soldiers were roaming the streets like packs of wolves, committing atrocities; one such unit of the Israeli Defense Forces set some children on fire, laughing and making bets on how far they could run screaming before they fell into pools of blackened ruin and their screams became silent. I found myself fighting them; others joined me, and more joined us. From that day forward I was part of the defense of Beirut against the siege.

     A fabulous café that had the best strawberry crepes in the world lay on the far side of a sniper alley, which my friends and I made an extreme sport of dashing across to reach breakfast while the occasional bullet impacted the wall behind us. One day we arrived in our usual high spirits when an elegant gentleman sat at my table, and speaking in French began a conversation with, “I’m told you do this every day, race against death for breakfast.”

     To which I replied, “Moments stolen from death belong to us, and set us free. It’s a poor man who has no pleasures worth dying for.”

    He smiled and said, “I agree”, and so began our conversations at breakfast in the last days before his capture, unforgettable days for this is where he set me on my life’s path of struggle for liberty against tyranny and autocracies of state force and control, for equality against racist violence and injustice, and against the fascism which combines both state tyranny and racist terror.

     He introduced himself as a former Legionnaire by the name of Jean, was mischievous, wise, immensely learned in classical scholarship and possibly had once been educated as a priest, and filled with wild stories about the luminaries of modern European culture. I was stunned when I discovered days later that my strange new friend was one of the greatest literary figures of the century. I had quoted The Thief’s Journal in refutation of something he said, which he found hilarious, while we were discussing Maurice Blanchot’s interpretation of Nietzsche’s Thus Spake Zarathustra as compared to that of Jung, a conversation which remained unfinished as he couldn’t stop laughing. Eventually he sputtered, “I myself am Jean Genet.” To me he remains a Trickster figure and part of my historical identity and personal mythology.

     There came a day when the barricades were overrun and our neighborhood along with it, one of our last days together. With the streets suddenly filled with Israeli soldiers running amok in a sack of murder, arson, and other vileness of terror and inhumanity, our building set on fire by soldiers who were calling for people to come out and surrender and where stealing the children of those who did to use as hostages and human shields, and the discovery of our only weapon being the bottle of champagne we had just finished with our strawberry crepes, I asked my breakfast companion if he had any ideas. To this he replied with an apologetic shrug and another question, “Fix bayonets?”

     We laughed, and he elaborated; “When all hope is lost, we are free to do impossible things, glorious things.” This advice I find necessary to recall from time to time, and which I recommend to you all.

     Then he asked, “Will you surrender?’

     To which I replied, “No.”

    “Nor I,” he said, standing. “As I share with you now, pass to others at need; this is an oath I devised in 1940 from the one I took as a Legionnaire, for the resistance to the Nazi occupation. It may be the finest thing I ever stole.”

     And so I offer to all of you the Oath of the Resistance as it was given to me by the great Jean Genet in a burning house, in a lost cause, in a time of force and darkness, in a last stand and an act of defiance beyond hope of victory or survival; “We swear our loyalty to each other, who answer tyranny with Liberty and fascism with Equality. We shall resist and yield not, and abandon not our fellows.”

     To fascism and the idea that some of us are better than others by condition of our birth there can be but one reply; Never Again.

     We escaped capture that day because we were led through the checkpoints of the encirclement by an unlikely ally, a figure who materialized out of the background at the far end of the alley and walked over to us grinning. This was the sniper whom my friends and I had been playing our games with for two weeks, who had been utterly invisible and had outwitted every attempt to track, trap, ambush, or identify him, and who had in fact besieged the city from within.   

     He held out his hand to me and I shook it as he said, “Well played, sir. I’ve tried to kill you every day for fourteen days now, but the Israelis being inside the city changes everything. We have a common enemy, but they don’t know that, so I’m in a position to help you. But I can’t fight them alone. Want a partner?”

     So began a great adventure and friendship, which I share with you now in the context of the nature of antifascist resistance because it illustrates something which can never be forgotten by anyone who does this kind of work; human beings are not monsters, are deserving of human doubt, and are never beyond redemption.

     The struggle between good and evil in the human heart often pivots and balances on the differences between the purpose of the use of force; to punish transgression when inflicted by authority as an act of subjugation and repression against the powerless, or to seize power and to protect the powerless as a duty of care.

     Be very sure you know which cause your actions serve.

    And in my post on the tragedy of the Beirut port explosion, August 5 2020 Madness Death Illumination Transcendence: A Song of Beirut; We seek meaning in the catastrophes and life disruptive events which flesh is heir to, yet as in the disaster in Beirut such causes are often beyond our understanding.

     Herein I refer now to Sura 18 of the Holy Quran, called The Cave, verses 60-82, an allegory which features Khidr, the Islamic Trickster figure who is an immortal and is symbolized as green as an embodiment of the Garden of Paradise, who acts as a guide of the soul through the puzzles of the labyrinth of life which leads toward it, and who speaks to us through dreams, visions, and signs.

     I consider it a narrative form of Godel’s Theorem; a proof of the necessity of faith and of the existence of the Infinite, of the limits of human knowledge and the Absurdity of the human condition. Such an interpretation aligns with that of   the great scholar and translator Abdullah Yusuf Ali.

     As with the foundational thought experiment of one of Plato’s contemporaries, the Spear of Archytas, which defines the horizon of the known as it is thrown and marks a boundary in landing, which we repeat endlessly in scientific revolutions, the unknown remains as vast as before, conserving ignorance. This is the first principle of epistemology; the Conservation of Ignorance.

     The canonical story recapitulates themes of the Sacrifice of Ibrahim which I would say forms the basis of Islamic faith, and in the streets of Beirut long ago I saw it unfold once again.

    In this story the Green Man instructs Moses by doing three things which are criminal and nonsensical, things which can be understood only through the foreknowledge of prophecy which is not ours. As with justice, foresight does not belong to man.

    The relevant passage it this;  فَأَرَدْنَا أَن يُبْدِلَهُمَا رَبُّهُمَا خَيْرًا مِّنْهُ زَكَاةً وَأَقْرَبَ رُحْمًا, or “So we intended that their Lord should substitute for them a better son than him in purity and nearer to mercy,” a classic changeling substitution. It also represents a point of bifurcation on which possible futures turn.

     I have hope for the future of humankind because of what I witnessed when this primary story was played out before me thirty eight years ago, and because of it I have never despaired.

     Such a gate stands or once stood in Beirut, like Rashomon Gate or a gate to the Infinite and to limitless possibilities of human becoming. It may now be dust and memories, or like Schrodinger’s Cat both exist and not exist at once; this I cannot answer for you.

      But I can speak as the witness of history that something remarkable happened there in its shadow, which like Khidr exchanging the young man for another to prevent a greater evil from occurring in the future, a time travel paradox if ever there was one, struck me with the force of revelation.

     It was an insignificant thing in the scope of the Siege of Beirut, one atrocity among many which was averted by the innate goodness of a single man whose name remains unknown, a tragic hero whom I will never forget, an unwilling conscript in the service of his government like so many others, who said no to authority and to the seduction of evil. The existence of humankind pivots on the balance of such individuals, and they are very few.

    This Israeli soldier refused to commit violations and depravities upon the person of a Palestinian girl, about twelve years old, who had been captured for this purpose by the lieutenant of his platoon, a common loyalty test and initiation. He blushed at the first demand of his officer to the tauntings of his fellows like the raucous cries of crows about to feast, there in the street before the Gate of Decision we must all face, then became angry in refusal when he realized it was not a joke, that the Occupation was about terror and plunder and not as he had been told. His commanding officer murdered him where he stood with a single shot to the head as the girl escaped.

     I have returned to this spot throughout my life to touch the stones stained with his blood, for I am reminded that we are not beyond redemption, and that so long as we resist unjust authority we are free, and there is hope.

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2015/05/memories-preserved-dark-heart-shatila-150525093502829.html

https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/remembering-sabra-shatila-massacre-35-years-170916101333726.html

https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2012/09/2012915163152213255.htm

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18 سبتمبر 2021 ذكرى مذبحة شاتيلا وصبرا في لبنان عام 1982

     في مجزرة استمرت ثلاثة أيام بين 16 و 18 سبتمبر 1982 ، تم ارتكاب واحدة من أبشع جرائم الإبادة الجماعية في التاريخ في مخيمي شاتيلا وصبرا للاجئين ضد شعب فلسطين ، والتي كانت إيذانا ببداية عشرين عاما من الاحتلال الإسرائيلي للبنان.

     دعونا نكرم موتانا المقدسين وأولئك الذين حاربوا في مقاومة إرهاب الدولة والجرائم ضد الإنسانية ، ولكن دعونا لا ننسى أسماء مرتكبيها ولا نقف في يقظتنا لنراهم يقدمون للعدالة. من المسؤول عن هذه الجريمة الفظيعة؟

     تم التخطيط لها وإدارتها في اجتماعات شخصية من قبل رئيس الوزراء الإسرائيلي مناحيم بيغن ، ووزير الدفاع أرييل شارون ، ومدير الموساد ناحوم أدموني ، ووزير الخارجية يتسحاق شامير ، ومدير المخابرات العسكرية يهوشوا ساغوي ، وقائد الفرقة بيروت عاموس يارون ، والدبلوماسي الأمريكي موريس دريبر بموجب أوامر من الرئيس رونالد ريغان ، رئيس لبنان بشير الجميل ، اليسوعي المتعلم وكالة المخابرات المركزية عامل تم تجنيده عندما كان محامياً يعمل في واشنطن العاصمة ، ورئيس المخابرات العسكرية اللبنانية جوني عبده ، وزعيم الكتائب إيلي حبيقة ، إلى جانب ممثلين آخرين عن المصالح الإسرائيلية الأمريكية والكتائب ، وهي ميليشيا مسيحية مارونية شبه فاشية أسسها انتخب رئيساً لأب لبنان. صعد الجميل إلى القيادة بقتل عائلات الرؤساء اللبنانيين السابقين ، بتمويل من رونالد ريغان بناءً على طلب أرييل شارون ، وأصبح رئيسًا في 23 أغسطس نتيجة الغزو الإسرائيلي للبنان في 6 يونيو.

     وهكذا تم تمهيد الطريق للتطهير العرقي للفلسطينيين الذين طردتهم إسرائيل من منازلهم إلى مخيمات اللاجئين البائسة في لبنان ، حيث لا يزال الناجون اليوم.

     إلى متى يجب أن ينتظر الموتى وذريتهم العدالة؟

اسمحوا لي الآن أن ألحق شهادتي الخاصة بالتاريخ هنا ، لأن أيام هذه الذكرى تغمرني في الذكريات ، سواء تلك التي لا أستطيع التحدث عنها أو تلك التي لا يمكنني تحملها بمفردي.

     في رسالتي بتاريخ 31 يوليو 2020 ، ماض مفيد: ما هي أنتيفا؟ كتبت؛ “أقدم لكم قسم المقاومة كما أعطاني في بيروت عام 1982 من قبل جان جينيه. إليكم قصة كيف حدث ذلك ، وعن أصلي الحقيقي.

     خلال الصيف الذي يسبق سنتي الأخيرة في الجامعة في سان فرانسيسكو ، كنت قد انطلقت في جولة طهي كبرى في البحر الأبيض المتوسط ​​، وتعلمت طهي الطعام الذي أحببته ، وكنت في بيروت عندما غزت إسرائيل لبنان وحاصرتني في مدينة تحت الحصار . كانت مجموعات متوحشة من الجنود تتجول في الشوارع مثل مجموعات الذئاب ، ترتكب الفظائع ؛ أشعلت إحدى هذه الوحدات التابعة لقوات الدفاع الإسرائيلية النار في بعض الأطفال ، ضاحكين وراهنات على المدى الذي يمكن أن يركضوا فيه وهم يصرخون قبل أن يسقطوا في برك من الخراب الأسود ويصمت صراخهم. وجدت نفسي أحاربهم. انضم إليّ آخرون ، وانضم إلينا المزيد. منذ ذلك اليوم فصاعدًا كنت جزءًا من الدفاع عن بيروت ضد الحصار.

     يقع مقهى رائع يحتوي على أفضل أنواع كريب الفراولة في العالم على الجانب البعيد من زقاق القناصة ، حيث مارست أنا وأصدقائي رياضة شديدة تتمثل في الانطلاق للوصول إلى وجبة الإفطار بينما أثرت الرصاصة العرضية على الجدار خلفنا. في أحد الأيام وصلنا إلى معنوياتنا المرتفعة المعتادة عندما جلس رجل أنيق على طاولتي ، وتحدث بالفرنسية وبدأ محادثة مع ، “قيل لي أنك تفعل هذا كل يوم ، تسابق ضد الموت لتناول الإفطار.”

     أجبته: اللحظات المسروقة من الموت لنا ، وتحررنا. إنه رجل فقير ليس لديه ملذات تستحق الموت من أجلها “.

    ابتسم وقال ، “أنا موافق” ، وهكذا بدأت محادثاتنا على الإفطار في الأيام الأخيرة قبل أسره ، وهي أيام لا تُنسى ، حيث وضعني على طريق حياتي في النضال من أجل الحرية ضد الاستبداد واستبداد قوة الدولة و السيطرة ، من أجل المساواة ضد العنف العنصري والظلم ، وضد الفاشية التي تجمع بين استبداد الدولة والإرهاب العنصري.

     قدم نفسه على أنه عضو سابق في Legionnaire باسم جان ، وكان مؤذًا وحكيمًا وتعلم كثيرًا في المنح الدراسية الكلاسيكية ، وربما تلقى تعليمه ككاهن ، ومليء بالقصص الجامحة حول النجوم البارزين في الثقافة الأوروبية الحديثة. ذهلت عندما اكتشفت بعد أيام أن صديقي الجديد الغريب كان من أعظم الشخصيات الأدبية في القرن. كنت قد اقتبست من The Thief’s Journal في دحض شيء قاله ، والذي وجده مضحكًا ، بينما كنا نناقش تفسير موريس بلانشو لتفسير نيتشه هكذا تكلم زرادشت مقارنةً بتفسير يونغ ، وهي محادثة ظلت غير مكتملة لأنه لم يستطع التوقف عن الضحك. في النهاية قال: “أنا بنفسي جين جينيه.” بالنسبة لي يظل شخصية مخادعة وجزءًا من هويتي التاريخية وأساطير الشخصية.

     جاء يوم تم فيه اجتياح الحواجز والحي الذي نعيش فيه ، وهو آخر أيامنا معًا. مع امتلاء الشوارع فجأة بالجنود الإسرائيليين الذين يركضون في حالة من الفوضى في كيس من القتل والحرق العمد وغير ذلك من أشكال الرعب والوحشية ، أضرم الجنود النار في بنايتنا من قبل الجنود الذين كانوا يطالبون الناس بالخروج والاستسلام وحيث يسرقون أطفال هؤلاء من الذي استخدمه كرهائن ودروع بشرية ، واكتشاف أن سلاحنا الوحيد هو زجاجة الشمبانيا التي انتهينا منها للتو من كريب الفراولة ، سألت رفيقي في الإفطار إذا كان لديه أي أفكار. أجاب على ذلك باستهجان اعتذاري وسؤال آخر ، “أصلح الحراب؟”

     ضحكنا وقال: “عندما يفقد كل أمل ، نحن أحرار في القيام بأشياء مستحيلة ، وأشياء مجيدة.” هذه النصيحة التي أجدها ضرورية لتذكرها من وقت لآخر والتي أنصحكم بها جميعًا.

     ثم سأل: “هل تستسلم؟”

     أجبت “لا”.

    قال وهو واقف: “ولا أنا”. “كما أشارككم الآن ، مرر للآخرين عند الحاجة ؛ هذا هو القسم الذي ابتكرته في عام 1940 من الذي أخذته بصفتي جنديًا في الجيش ، على مقاومة الاحتلال النازي. قد يكون أفضل شيء سرقته على الإطلاق “.

ولذا أقدم لكم جميعًا قسم المقاومة كما أعطاني إياه العظيم جان جينيه في منزل محترق ، في قضية خاسرة ، في زمن القوة والظلام ، في موقف أخير وفعل من التحدي وراء الأمل في النصر أو البقاء ؛ نقسم الولاء لبعضنا البعض ، الذين يردون على الطغيان بالحرية والفاشية بالمساواة. سنقاوم ولن نستسلم ، ولا نتخلى عن زملائنا “.

     بالنسبة للفاشية والفكرة القائلة بأن بعضنا أفضل من الآخرين بشرط ولادتنا ، لا يمكن أن يكون هناك سوى إجابة واحدة ؛ لن يحدث مطلقا مرة اخري.

     لقد هربنا من الأسر في ذلك اليوم لأننا قادنا عبر نقاط التفتيش في المحاصرة من قبل حليف غير متوقع ، وهو شخصية ظهرت من الخلفية في نهاية الزقاق البعيدة وسار نحونا مبتسمًا. كان هذا هو القناص الذي كنت ألعب معه أنا وأصدقائي ألعابنا لمدة أسبوعين ، والذي كان غير مرئي تمامًا وتفوق على كل محاولة لتعقبه أو نصب كمين له أو التعرف عليه ، والذي حاصر المدينة في الواقع من الداخل. .

     مد يده إلي وصافحته وهو يقول ، “أحسنت اللعب يا سيدي. لقد حاولت قتلك كل يوم لمدة أربعة عشر يومًا الآن ، لكن وجود الإسرائيليين داخل المدينة يغير كل شيء. لدينا عدو مشترك ، لكنهم لا يعرفون ذلك ، لذا فأنا في وضع يسمح لي بمساعدتك. لكن لا يمكنني محاربتهم بمفردي. هل تريد شريكا؟ “

     وهكذا بدأت مغامرة كبيرة وصداقة ، أشارككم فيها الآن في سياق طبيعة المقاومة المناهضة للفاشية لأنها توضح شيئًا لا يمكن أن ينساه أي شخص يقوم بهذا النوع من العمل ؛ البشر ليسوا وحوشًا ، ويستحقون الشك البشري ، وليسوا أبدًا وراء الفداء.

     غالبًا ما يتمحور الصراع بين الخير والشر في قلب الإنسان حول الفروق بين الغرض من استخدام القوة ؛ لمعاقبة التعدي عندما ترتكبه السلطة كعمل من أعمال القهر والقمع ضد الضعفاء ، أو للاستيلاء على السلطة وحماية الضعفاء كواجب رعاية.

     كن على يقين من أنك تعرف أي سبب يخدم أفعالك.

وفي رسالتي عن مأساة انفجار مرفأ بيروت ، 5 آب / أغسطس 2020 ، تجاوز إضاءة الجنون الموت: أغنية بيروت ؛ نحن نبحث عن معنى في الكوارث والأحداث المربكة للحياة التي يرثها الجسد ، ولكن كما في الكارثة في بيروت ، غالبًا ما تكون هذه الأسباب خارجة عن فهمنا.

     أشير هنا الآن إلى سورة 18 من القرآن الكريم ، المسماة الكهف ، الآيات 60-82 ، وهي قصة رمزية تظهر الخضر ، الشخصية الإسلامية المخادعة التي هي خالدة ويرمز لها باللون الأخضر لتجسيد جنة الجنة ، الذي يعمل كمرشد للروح من خلال ألغاز متاهة الحياة التي تقود نحوها ، ويتحدث إلينا من خلال الأحلام والرؤى والعلامات.

     أنا أعتبره شكل سردي لنظرية وديل. دليل على ضرورة الإيمان ووجود اللامحدود وحدود المعرفة الإنسانية وعبثية الحالة الإنسانية. يتوافق هذا التفسير مع تفسير العالم والمترجم الكبير عبد الله يوسف علي.

     كما هو الحال مع التجربة الفكرية التأسيسية لأحد معاصري أفلاطون ، رمح أرشيتاس ، والتي تحدد أفق ما يُعرف كما تم إلقاؤه ويضع حدًا في الهبوط ، وهو ما نكرره إلى ما لا نهاية في الثورات العلمية ، يبقى المجهول شاسعًا كما كان من قبل. والمحافظة على الجهل. هذا هو المبدأ الأول لنظرية المعرفة. حفظ الجهل.

     تلخص القصة الكنسية موضوعات تضحية إبراهيم التي أود أن أقول أنها تشكل أساس العقيدة الإسلامية ، وفي شوارع بيروت منذ فترة طويلة رأيتها تتكشف مرة أخرى.

    في هذه القصة ، يوجه الرجل الأخضر موسى عن طريق القيام بثلاثة أشياء هي إجرامية وغير منطقية ، أشياء لا يمكن فهمها إلا من خلال المعرفة المسبقة بالنبوة التي ليست لنا. كما هو الحال مع العدالة ، البصيرة لا تخص الإنسان.

    المقطع ذات الصلة هذا ؛ فَأَرَدْنَا أَن يُبْدِلَهُمَا رَبُّهُمَا خَيْرًا مِّنْهُ زَكَاةً وَأَقْرَبَ رُحْمًا ، أو “لذا قصدنا أن يحل ربهم محلهم ابنًا أفضل منه في الطهارة وأقرب إلى الرحمة”. كما أنه يمثل نقطة تشعب تتحول عليها العقود الآجلة المحتملة.

     لدي أمل في مستقبل البشرية بسبب ما شاهدته عندما تم عرض هذه القصة الأولية أمامي قبل ثمانية وثلاثين عامًا ، وبسبب ذلك لم أشعر باليأس أبدًا.

     مثل هذه البوابة تقف أو كانت قائمة في بيروت ، مثل بوابة راشومون أو بوابة إلى اللانهائي وإمكانيات لا حدود لها من أن يصبح الإنسان. قد يكون الآن غبارًا وذكريات ، أو مثل قطة شرودنجر ، كلاهما موجود وغير موجود في وقت واحد ؛ هذا لا يمكنني الإجابة عنك.

      لكن يمكنني أن أتحدث كشاهد للتاريخ أن شيئًا رائعًا حدث هناك في ظلها ، والذي صدمني مثل استبدال خضر الشاب بآخر لمنع حدوث شر أكبر في المستقبل ، مفارقة السفر عبر الزمن إن وجدت. بقوة الوحي.

     لقد كان شيئًا تافهًا في نطاق حصار بيروت ، فظائع من بين العديد من الفظائع التي تم تجنبها من خلال الخير الفطري لرجل واحد لا يزال اسمه غير معروف ، بطل مأساوي لن أنساه أبدًا ، مجند غير راغب في خدمة حكومته مثل كثيرين آخرين ، الذين قالوا لا للسلطة ولإغواء الشر. إن وجود الإنسان يدور حول توازن هؤلاء الأفراد ، وهم قليلون جدًا.

    رفض هذا الجندي الإسرائيلي ارتكاب انتهاكات وحالات فساد بحق فتاة فلسطينية تبلغ من العمر اثنتي عشرة سنة تم أسرها لهذا الغرض من قبل ملازم فصيلته ، وهو اختبار ولاء مشترك. لقد احمر خجلاً عند الطلب الأول من ضابطه إلى استهزاء زملائه مثل صرخات الغربان الصاخبة على وشك أن نتغذى ، هناك في الشارع قبل بوابة القرار ، يجب أن نواجه جميعًا ، ثم غضب من الرفض عندما أدرك أنه لم يكن كذلك. مزحة ، أن الاحتلال كان عن الإرهاب والنهب وليس كما قيل له. قتله قائده حيث كان يقف برصاصة واحدة في رأسه بينما كانت الفتاة تهرب.

     لقد عدت إلى هذه البقعة طيلة حياتي لألمس الحجارة الملطخة بدمه ، فأنا أذكر أننا لسنا بعيدين عن الخلاص ، وطالما نقاوم السلطة الظالمة فنحن أحرار ، وهناك أمل.

September 17 2021 In Memoriam of My Partner’s Father, Gene McKay

     Gene McKay, father of my partner Dolly who grew up across the street from my own father and fought at his side as his shield man, has died of breakthrough covid last night after ten days in hospital, having refused intubation and demanding his oxygen feed be cut off when informed his chances of survival on a ventilator with mechanical breathing were one to ten percent and there were no ventilators available because of the massive system overload of unvaccinated patients, and chose to spend his last hours surrounded by his sons Shawn and Bud and daughters Dolly and Lisa and visited by grandchildren.

     He is survived by Shawn and Tammi’s daughters Kelsey and Kristen, Bud and Verna’s sons Gene and Eric, and Gene Thomas’ son Andrew, and daughter Sara Brendal, and Sara and her husband Matt’s daughter Adalyn Rose, and Lisa’s sons James and Nicolaus, and Nicolaus’s daughter Kenzlie, and daughter Christina Marzetta and her husband Joey.

      Among those whose lives he has touched one must also count the multitudes of relatives who descend from his nine older siblings; at the time we wrote the family history there were one hundred sixteen descendants of the original immigrant John Hugh McKay. There are also the relatives of his wife of sixty-six years Theresa, hundreds of de facto family members descended from the original IWW and Socialist Party members and the communes from which they originated before the First World War on the coast near Seattle and elsewhere, as well as those families who were among the Brotherhood of the Carnival founded by Gene’s brother Bob, whose winter headquarters I can see from my hill and was once a city unto itself.

      Especially as de facto family I must designate his engineering protégé Nima Motahari at Womer & Associates, Paul Hamilton, like myself a multigenerational neighbor and friend of the family, his loyal retainer Jack Lewis, and his paramour Joanne Keeton.  

      To Gene I say this; Farewell my friend. You leave great goodness in your wake, and now we must carry forward your compassion and your vision for a future in which the rising tide lifts all boats. You have lived as an example to us all, and placed your life in the balance with those of the powerless and the dispossessed, the silenced and the erased. You fought at my fathers side as his shield man and he at yours, and told his stories; as we must now tell yours. We are all better for having you in our lives, and you will be remembered.

     He was a friend who shared common cause in politics and common interest in history with me, a man I’ve known my entire life whose enormous family is interconnected with my own across generations. Among my earliest memories is of him giving Dolly and I a ride in a hay wagon in the snow; the day of our first kiss, when as children we realized we loved each other forty-nine years ago.

      He was wise, kind, full of humor and interested in everything; a registered structural and mechanical engineer to his last days, he designed the plans for our home here at Dollhouse Park, so named because Dolly wandered the hills until she found a view she liked of the distant city lights, and wanted a park to frame it with a house at the center of the labyrinth. He wrote beautifully, and Dolly and I researched her family history for one of his books; years of discussions and collaboration.

     His great joy was restoring classic cars; every morning he woke up at six thirty to work on something in one of his shops, where as a young race car driver he had built cars, often with the same tools his father had used until the day before he went into hospital. He was active in several classic car clubs, and even during quarantine went on long motor trips with his many friends. He built cars as gifts for his children; Dolly’s came in six boxes of rusted scrap parts and left the shop in original factory new condition, as it remains today.

    He loved dinner parties and gatherings; the lavish ones at his home were often of over fifty people, and family dinners at favorite restaurants were usually twelve or more. He also liked my cooking, a hobby of mine since my university years, and often ate with Dolly and I at our home. We were fortunate to have been able to spend time with him as often as we did, and to live within a few minutes drive to make it possible.

     He grew up the son of a Socialist politician and Industrial Workers of the World labor union organizer, John F. McKay, friend and ally of the great Eugene V. Debs for whom Gene was named, who traveled the world as a champion of the principle that no worker should be used against another, and grandson of a schoolteacher who had been abducted into labor on a British Navy ship, killed or seriously wounded a British officer in a duel, been freed by shipmates before he was to be hanged, and swam the St Lawrence River to America.

     Gene graduated Gonzaga University as an engineer, then served in the United States Army where he became a Major, joined Bovay Engineering when his active service was over in 1959 and in 1978 took charge of it, and for the next twenty years had eighty engineers working for him. And in all of this he never forgot who he was and where he came from, nor let his circumstances determine his identity or change who he was, and always he was on the side of the working class against those who would enslave us.

      A defining moment both for his father and for him was the Armistice Day Massacre of 1919 in Centralia Washington, a horrific mass murder of IWW unionists which changed his father from an ideologically motivated political activist to a leader of direct action for whom unions were an instrument not simply for fairness and the dignity of labor, but for the survival of the powerless and the dispossessed. Gene was shaped by growing up with the last IWW prisoner of this incident, who when freed from prison came to live with them; Ray Becker, held for twenty years because he refused to name names or give up his fellows to the police, which protected John McKay among others. I can think of no finer role model for us all.

     What is the lesson here, which grants victory to the powerless over unanswerable force, over state terror and tyranny and capitalist exploitation?

     Our hope for a better future rests with our solidarity, for we are only as strong as our loyalty and faith in one another. And united we become unstoppable as the tides. For we are many, we are watching, and we are the future.

     And concurrent with the principle of solidarity is that of resistance; we must seize our power in refusal to submit to authority, for in refusal we become Unconquered and free. Force is hollow and brittle, and fails at the point of disobedience. In the words of Max Stirner; “Liberty cannot be granted; it must be seized.”

      As to solidarity and refusal to submit as parallel and interdependent forces of liberty, autonomy, and seizure of power in revolutionary struggle to become free and self created beings, I have a pair of stories to tell you, of history and of myth, and of the reimagination and transformation of ourselves, the possibilities of becoming human, and of human being, meaning, and value when faced with the terror of our nothingness in death and I life disruptive events.    

      Stories of which the family and descendants of the McKays are embodiments and bearers, and of those who stand in solidarity with them as partners, allies, and friends, but which are also allegories of resilience and liberation and belong to us all as a common heritage of humankind.

     What does it mean to be a bearer of such stories, and of the histories and truths written in our flesh?

      An ancient length of iron rests hidden among my tools, pitted and scarred from many battles and acts of sabotage, artifact of a heritage of resistance which reaches back into antiquity and connects us with the lives of others who refused to submit to authority.

    A workingman’s tool that can be used as a weapon, this is a traditional iron crow, a term whose first written use was in a poem in 1386 which describes the wicked triangular punch like a crow’s beak at the terminus of its curved handle, now called a crowbar or wrecking bar and normally now with wedged clawfoot prybars at both ends instead of just the foot, originally a pirate’s boarding weapon and breaching tool which by the early 1400’s had developed into the bec de corbin; Joan of Arc’s helmet has a strike imprint from one along the cheekplate.

    I will tell you two stories of the origins of this fragment of our history, one American and the other of the Old World. Both are true, if in different ways.

    Probably forged by my partner Theresa’s grandfather, the great socialist politician and labor organizer John F. McKay, blacksmith by trade though he published and edited several newspapers, and carried by him as a walking stick for some thirty years, this particular crowbar struck fear into company thugs and strikebreakers and brought hope to workingmen and their families.

      As an Industrial Workers of the World unionist and with his friend Eugene V. Debs, John F. McKay defied and challenged authority throughout the world to forge a better future in which no worker can be used against another. He began this life work as a Montana state senator of the Socialist Party in 1918-1922; for union organizing among the miners and loggers he was excommunicated by the Church, and defeated an assassin sent against him.

     An infamous event from this period was the Centralia Massacre of November 11 1919, in which a local Washington State headquarters of the IWW was attacked by members of the American Legion who had been called on by the town council to restore order during a strike; they surrounded and fired on the building, and a young IWW man who happened to be a World War One veteran fired back, killing several of them. The remaining strikebreakers stormed the building, killed several of the office staff, and castrated, dragged behind cars, and lynched others. Their mutilated bodies were hung about town; captured survivors were convicted on trumped up charges and given sentences of 25 years. From this abattoir emerged a champion of the people; I believe this event began John F. McKay’s shift from electoral politics to direct action. At the end of his term in the senate he became a full time IWW organizer.

     In 1930 he moved to Spokane and founded the All Worker’s Party, and with the hundreds of men he organized kept thousands of people alive during the Great Depression, by raiding trains for food to distribute while his teams turned the power and water back on for families who had no cash to pay the utilities with, among other things.

     And with this wrecking bar in his fist he fought for those whom Frantz Fanon called the Wretched of the Earth, the powerless and the disposed, the silenced and the erased, for the rest of his life.

     As we move further in time from our point of reference, possibilities multiply, meanings change, and futures become ambiguous; so it is with the past as well. So we turn from history to myth, and an origin story from which the Clan McKay  constructs its identity.    

     Possibly this crowbar is the haft of the ax of Sigurd the Mighty, Norse King of Orkney, who in 892 became the only man in history to have been bitten to death by a decapitated head. It happened this way; that in a great battle he struck off the head of Maelbrighte the Poisonous, Gaelic King of Moray, whose line were the last independent Irish rulers of Scotland, anointed by St Patrick himself, and a direct ancestor of all persons McKay and MacKay. Sigurd the Mighty tied the head of Maelbrighte the Poisonous to his saddle, and the head bit his leg which became infected and killed him.

      After the battle and a generation of war the grandchildren of these two kings who had killed each other in battle united in marriage, becoming like many Scots a blend of Irish and Viking, figures of the origins of Scotland. The great ax was a wedding present, and a peace treaty.

     The malefic ax, consecrated as are the bodies of the McKays as avatars of the Viking trickster god of battle, magic, and poetry, Odin, whose name means Master of Ecstasy and Fury, referring to the twin arts of poetry and war as forms of ecstatic trance and vision, and on the other side to the Irish Crow of Battle, death, time, magic, and transformation, the goddess Morrigan, Queen of Death and Nightmares, in equal part, as a peace offering at a wedding which unified the two peoples in the historic struggle for dominion, and signaled the birth of a new nation. 

     And so this battered thing of dual origins and secret history waits among the other tools of my trade, that of resistance, chaos, anarchy, transgression, revolution, and the frightening of the horses.

     Of these it whispers secrets, awakens lost histories, restores forbidden senses of awareness and vision, opens doors of possibilities, and sends beautiful, terrible dreams of things which may have been or yet may be.

     Such is the legacy of humankind, which belongs to all of us. Seize and use it without fear, and build a better humanity and a better future for us all.

September 16 2021 A Reading List for Hispanic Heritage Month

     For Hispanic Heritage Month I offer here updated versions of the reading lists I used throughout twenty years of teaching AP and Honors English classes in high school, to stand alongside and apart from the limits of government approval and control, both of curriculum and of our human possibilities, as choice reading lists for Junior year American Literature (Hispanic-American Literature) and Senior year British and World Literature (Latin American Literature).

     One ongoing project which I ran using these lists may be useful for reading groups; I asked students to choose the list of a group with which they identify   and then choose partners from a different group, then select two books, one  from each other’s list, to read together and give a presentation about to the class as a team.

    This project, which I called Becoming Human Through Literature, has three goals; to develop a broad personal culture, to discover maps of how to become human, and to operate transcontextually as a global family member.  

    For all of these lists I began with immortal classics and added whatever I thought merited inclusion on the basis of quality alone; this is how I found myself teaching a broad and inclusive curriculum.

     I am a product of a Great Books of the Western World education, a set of works published by Encyclopædia Britannica based on the great philosopher Mortimer J. Adler’s course at the University of Chicago, which I read through my high school years and again while I was at university, and cherish still; I recommend this program of guided reading to anyone. This and Harold Bloom’s list in The Western Canon formed my starting point; as a teacher I hoped to offer to my students a more diverse and inclusive spectrum of possibilities of becoming human.

      Yes, this means I’ve read all these books; and often taught, led discussions and Socratic seminars, scored and commented on student critical essays and written tests, writing prompts, study guides, lesson plans, and other educational tools and collaterals about them for many years. It also means that if your favorite book is not on a list, I may simply not have read it yet, so let me know if something should be included.

     I organized Modern American Literature as core lists of Fiction, Poetry, Drama, Science and other Fictions, and also literature of the American South, African American, Hispanic American, Native American, Asian American, and Jewish American categories, as well as a nonfiction list I entitled A Useful Past: contexts and sources for Constructing an American Identity.

    World Literature is represented by lists for Fairytales, Africa, Australia New Zealand & Canada, Austria Germany & Switzerland, Britain, the Caribbean, China, Eastern Europe, France, Greece, India, Islamic Peoples, Italy, Japan, Jewish Peoples, Latin America, the Netherlands, Portugal, Russia, Scandinavia, Spain, and Women’s Literature History and Feminist Theory.

     Education comes from the Greek word educatus; meaning to bring forth, rather than to stuff facts into students like programming automatons, or to overwrite their uniqueness with authorized identities, or to limit the possibilities of becoming human through representation. Humans need a free space of play in which to discover and create themselves. Each of us has one problem in common which we must solve as we grow up in order to become ourselves; we must reinvent how to be human.

     On these lists are the finest books I’ve discovered over a lifetime of reading, as well as some prefacing context works on history, biography, & culture, and I hope they will bring joy to your life as they have mine.

     How do stories work, and why are they important?

     Liberation, Memory, History, and Human Being: a Narrative Theory of Identity

     A canon of literature is nothing less than an authorized set of identities. This is why the reimagination and transformation of the stories we tell about ourselves, to ourselves and to others, must be constant and ongoing. The first question we must ask of our stories is this; whose story is this?

      We are lost in a wilderness of mirrors, cameras, surfaces which abstract us into images owned by others, which capture us in narratives we ourselves do not create and reflect us infinitely in theft of our uniqueness and our souls.

     This is why pervasive surveillance, and the lies and illusions of imposed realities of propaganda, are parallel machines of falsification and authorized identities in which we are caught like Charlie Chaplin in The Factory.

     To make an idea about a kind of people is an act of war.

      All divisions and hierarchies of exclusionary otherness authorized by those who would enslave us demonize the many in service to the power of the few.   

      We are the stories we tell about ourselves, to ourselves and one another. Our stories live within us, and we also live within them. Who owns these stories also owns ourselves.

    Whose stories shall we teach to future generations? Will it be songs of resistance and survival, of the unconquered freedom and glory of our humanity and the triumph of our seizures of power over who we are and may become? Or will it be elegies of our dehumanization and enslavement, or submission to tyrannical authorities and fascisms of blood, faith, and soil?

    We must seize our stories as informing and motivating sources through which we shape ourselves, authorize identities, and create Others for whom we are negative spaces and through whom we define ourselves.

     Always there remains the creative dynamism and revolutionary struggle between the masks that others make for us and those we make for ourselves. This is the first revolution in which we all must fight; the struggle to create ourselves.

     I’ll post all my lists on my literary blog here: https://dollhouseparkconservatory.home.blog

              Hispanic-American History

     Century of the Wind, Eduardo Galeano

      Crucible of Struggle: A History of Mexican Americans from the Colonial Period to the Present Era, Zaragosa Vargas

     El Norte: The Epic and Forgotten Story of Hispanic North America, Carrie Gibson

     The Crusades of Cesar Chavez: A Biography, Miriam Pawel

     The Latin Tinge: The Impact of Latin American Music on the United States, John Storm Roberts

     My Art, My Life: An Autobiography, Diego Rivera

     The Diary of Frida Kahlo: An Intimate Self-Portrait, Carlos Fuentes intro

     Across the Wire: Life and Hard Times on the Mexican Border, The Devil’s Highway: A True Story, Luis Alberto Urrea

     The Transnational Fantasies of Guillermo del Toro, Dolores Tierney, Deborah Shaw, & Ann Davies, Editors

                    Hispanic-American Literature

    Bless Me Ultima, Rudolfo Anaya

     The House of the Spirits, Of Love and Shadows, The Sum of Our Days, Eva Luna, The Stories of Eva Luna, The Infinite Plan, Daughter of Fortune, Zorro, Island Beneath the Sea, Ines of My Soul, Maya’s Notebook, The Japanese Lover, The Sum of Our Days, Conversations With Isabel Allende, A Long Petal of the Sea, Isabele Allende

Isabel Allende: A Literary Companion, Mary Ellen Snodgrass

     Latin Moon in Manhattan, Our Lives Are the Rivers: A Novel,

Cervantes Street, Eminent Maricones: Arenas, Lorca, Puig, and Me, Jaime Manrique

     How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents, Yo!, In the Time of the Butterflies, In the Name of Salome, The Woman I Kept to Myself, Once Upon a Quinceanera: Coming of Age in the USA, Something to Declare, Julia Alvarez

Julia Alvarez: A Critical Companion, Silvio Sirias

     The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, Junot Díaz

    The Moths and other stories, Under the Feet of Jesus, Their Dogs Came with Them, Helena Viramontes

     Hummingbird’s Daughter, Queen of America, Into the Beautiful North, The Water Museum, The House of Broken Angels, Tijuana Book of the Dead, Luis Alberto Urrea

     So Far From God, Peel My Love Like an Onion, The Guardians, Massacre of the Dreamers: Essays on Xicanisma, Watercolor Women / Opaque Men: A Novel in Verse, Black Dove: Mamá, Mi’jo, and Me, I Ask the Impossible, Ana Castillo

     The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love, The Fourteen Sisters of Emilio Montez O’Brien, Oscar Hijuelos

     The House on Mango Street, Woman Hollaring Creek and other stories, Caramelo, My Wicked Wicked Ways: Poems, A House of My Own: Stories from My Life, Sandra Cisneros

Sandra Cisneros’s The House on Mango Street, Harold Bloom

     House of the Impossible Beauties, Joseph Cassara

     Dreaming in Cuban, The Lady Matador’s Hotel, King of Cuba, Christina Garcia

                     World Literature: Latin America

                                        History

     Memory of Fire Trilogy (Genesis, Faces and Masks, Century of the Wind), Open Veins of Latin America: Five Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent, Mirrors, The Book of Embraces, Voices in Time, Hunter of Stories, Eduardo Galeano

     Born in Blood and Fire: A Concise History of Latin America, John Charles Chasteen

     Popol Vuh: The Definitive Edition of The Mayan Book of The Dawn of Life and The Glories of Gods and Kings, Dennis Tedlock

     When Montezuma Met Cortés: The True Story of the Meeting that Changed History, Seven Myths of the Spanish Conquest, Matthew Restall

     Life and Death in the Andes: On the Trail of Bandits, Heroes, and Revolutionaries, The Last Days of the Incas, Kim MacQuarrie

      Liberators: Latin America’s Struggle for Independence, Andrew Harvey

     Evita: The Real Life of Eva Peron, Nicholas Fraser, Marysa Navarro

     Looking for History: Dispatches from Latin America, Alma Guillermopriet

     Tango: the Art History of Love, Robert Thompson

                                         Literature

    Collected Fictions, Selected Poems, Selected Non-Fictions, This Craft of Verse, Jorge Borges

Jorge Borges: a literary biography, Emir Monegal

     The Complete Stories, Near to the Wild Heart, The Apple in the Dark, The Passion According to G.H., The Hour of the Star, Clarice Lispector

Reading with Clarice Lispector, Hélène Cixous

     Terra Nostra, The Death of Artemio Cruz, The Old Gringo, The Campaign, Christopher Unborn, A Change of Skin, The Eagle’s Throne, The Orange Tree, The Crystal Frontier, Destiny and Desire, Myself with Others: Selected Essays, This I Believe, A New Time for Mexico, Carlos Fuentes

     Hopscotch, Julio Cortazar

     Pedro Páramo, Juan Rulfo

     Yankee Invasion: A Novel of Mexico City, Ignacio Solares

     Texas: The Great Theft, Carmen Boullosa

     One Hundred Years of Solitude, The General in His Labrynth, The Autumn of the Patriarch, Love in the Time of Cholera, Of Love And Other Demons, Gabriel Garcia Marquez

     Five Decades: 1925-1970, Pablo Neruda

     The Labrynth, Selected Poems, Octavio Paz

     The Troublesome Offspring of Cardinal Guzman, Louis de Bernieries

     Like Water for Chocolate, Laura Esquivel

     Kiss of the Spider Woman, The Buenos Aires Affair, Betrayed by Rita Hayworth, Heartbreak Tango, Eternal Curse on Reader of These Pages, Blood Of Requited Love, Manuel Puig

     Men of Maize, Mirror of Lida Sal: Tales Based on Mayan Myths and Guatemalan Legends, Miguel Asturias

     A Plan for Escape, The Invention of Morel, The Dream of Heroes, Diary of the War of the Pig, Asleep in the Sun, Adolfo Bioy-Casares

     Leopoldina’s Dream, Thus Were Their Faces, The Promise, Silvina Ocampo

     Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands, Gabriela Clove and Cinnamon, Tereza Batista: Home from the Wars, The War of the Saints, Tent of Miracles, The Discovery of America by the Turks, Showdown, Shepherds of the Night, Home is the Sailor, The Violent Land, Jorge Amado

     Infinity in the Palm of Her Hand: A Novel of Adam and Eve, Gioconda Belli

     Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter, The Green House, The Way to Paradise, The Bad Girl, The Notebooks of Don Rigoberto, The Dream of the Celt, Touchstones, Conversation in the Cathedral, The Feast of the Goat, The Time of the Hero, The War of The End of the World, The Real Life of Alejandro Mayta,  Mario Vargas Llosa

     The Alchemist, The Aleph, Paulo Coelho

     Clara: Thirteen Short Stories and a Novel, The Lizard’s Tail, He Who Searches, The Censors: A Bilingual Selection of Stories, Symmetries, Bedside Manners, Luisa Valenzuela

     Sobre héroes y tumbas, Abaddón el Exterminador, El túnel, (Spanish only/untranslated) Ernesto Sabato

     Palinuro de Mexico (Spanish only/untranslated), Fernando del Paso

     The Fair (Spanish only/untranslated), Juan Jose Arreola

     Things We Lost in the Fire, Mariana Enríquez,

     Persephone, 1492: The Life and Times of Juan Cabezon of Castile, The Lord of the Last Days: Visions of the Year 1000, Eyes to See Otherwise, Time of Angels, Homero Aridjis

     The Dark Bride, Laura Restrepo

     Purgatory, Anteparadise, Raul Zurita

     Poems of Cesar Vallejo, Hays trans

     Mouthful of Birds, Fever Dream, Samanta Schweblin

     The Savage Detective, By Night in Chile, Distant Star, 2666, Woes of the True Policeman, Antwerp, The Unknown University, The Insufferable Gaucho,  Between Parentheses: Essays, Articles and Speeches, 1998-2003, Last Evenings on Earth, The Return, Roberto Bolano

     The Obscene Madame D, Letters From a Seducer, With my Dog Eyes, Hilda Hist

     The Art of Flight, The Journey, The Magician of Vienna, Sergio Pitol

     Among the Lost, Emiliano Monge

    Gods of Jade and Shadow, Silvia Moreno-Garcia

     The Obscene Bird of Night, A House in the Country,  José Donoso

     Where the Bird Sings Best, The Son of Black Thursday, Albina and the Dog-Men, Alejandro Jodorowsky

 Anarchy and Alchemy: the Films of Alejandro Jodorowsky

     Extracting the Stone of Madness: Poems 1962 – 1972, Alejandra Pizarnik

     The Complete Stories of Leonora Carrington, Leonora Carrington

      When We Cease to Understand the World, Benjamin Labatut

     Tender Is the Flesh, Agustina Bazterrica  

     Hurricane Season, Fernanda Melchor  

September 15 2021 Anniversary of the Nuremberg Laws and of the Exposure of America’s Forced Hysterectomies of Latina Refugees

      On this day in 1935 Germany enacted the Nuremberg Laws which established the legal basis of the Holocaust; and now eighty one years later we mark the first anniversary of the exposure of America’s forced hysterectomies of Latina refugees in our concentration camps.

     I find it hopeful for the future that America has chosen begin Hispanic Heritage Month on this day, linking the two events in public recognition of our government’s complicity in genocide and racist terror which echoes that of the Holocaust.

     A horrific revelation of state terror, which recalls the mass sterilizations of Black women prisoners and mental patients during the Eugenics era in America, which the Nazi theorists of white supremacy modeled their own programs on. At a time when patriarchy reigned unquestioned and aggressive behavior in women was considered abnormal when the exact same behavior in men was judged normal, women would be treated with hysterectomies- root word hysteria- to render them obedient. The other institutional response were lobotomies, also overwhelmingly inflicted on Black women.

      It is a case which is far from unique in America, where the violation of normality and the performance of unauthorized identities is met with brutal force and control, especially in regard to the perpetuation of racial hierarchies of exclusionary otherness.

     Ken Kesey fictionalized his experience at Menlo Park Veterans Hospital as the novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, truly as my sister went to school with his daughter and they used the Magic Bus as a playground gymnasium, one of my more colorful former neighbors; it depicts a general condition of madness used as a pretext for the repression of dissent by authority.

      Geraldo Rivera’s 1972 midnight raid with a television crew on Willowbrook State School for the developmentally disabled on Staten Island, which captured on film chained naked inmates wailing in terror while being hosed with a firehose and fed from a pig trough while forced to crawl on all fours.

      Kesey’s novel ended the practice of lobotomizing unruly mental patients; Rivera’s outlaw broadcast freed all the mental patients and made it illegal in California to abduct and imprison inconvenient people who have committed no crime on the sole authority of a doctor’s signature. These were landmark victories, one which ended a practice admired by the Nazis who adopted our Eugenics practices, another which ended the use of mental hospitals to terrorize and disappear political prisoners which we copied from the Soviet Union.

    There’s a third thing that is not well known; in the basement of Sonoma State Mental Hospital, a few minutes from where I once lived and taught high school, there is a vault which holds inconvenient truths, among them a letter signed by Adolf Hitler congratulating the hospital on its model Eugenics program, eliminating the unfit and mongrel races from the breeding pool.      

     Sterilizations were never about health risks. And today our nation has regressed to the racism and patriarchy of the 1930’s. How shall we reply to this existential threat?

      We must bring a national reckoning for the legacies of our historical inequalities and for the systems, structures, and institutions which perpetuate them; and among many other things champion the liberation of those who have crossed an imaginary line we drew in the sand to weaponize disparity and create an illegal labor force which has no rights and no official existence, with whom we can do anything which is convenient to our profit and on whose sublegal wage labor, arguably that of slaves, entire sectors of our economy rely; for the soul of America and the freedom of humankind is at stake.

     It is easy to believe the lies of authority when one is a member of the elite in whose interest they claim to wield power, and to fail to question one’s own motives and position of privilege; surely our government is one of laws and not of men, with good intentions and working for the betterment of all, and we owe nothing to others who are not our family, not our tribe. Terrifyingly easy to believe lies when we are the beneficiaries of genocide, slavery, conquest, and imperialism.

     When the Nazi regime lay in ruins in 1945, ordinary Germans living next door to concentration camps claimed they knew nothing about mass murder, slave labor, medical experiments, or genocide. But we know. How shall we answer for our complicity, when we knew and did nothing?

     As I wrote in my post of August 18 2020, Who Begins By Building Walls Ends With Gas Chambers; There are some things which must never be forgotten, lest they be repeated, and one year ago today America came perilously close to re-enacting the Holocaust.

     America has drawn a line in the sand to weaponize disparity of wealth and create masses of exploitable invisible labor, modeled on the Bantustan system of apartheid in South Africa, and have been using ICE and the Border Patrol to abduct migrant laborers into concentration camps in a campaign of dehumanization and crimes against humanity. Migrant labor is slave labor; and it has become more horrific still with the advent of a new instrument of state terror; gas chambers.

     Concentration camps, secret prisons, child abduction, a federal occupation force of secret police, vote suppression, paramilitary units of white supremacist terror, pervasive and endemic surveillance and state disinformation and propaganda, assaults on equality, truth, justice, liberty, and fascisms of blood, faith, and soil; Republicans have much to answer for.

     And of course, who begins by building walls ends with gas chambers.

     As Dave Lindorf writes in Counterpunch; “As the first and hopefully only presidential term of Donald Trump nears its November 3 moment of truth, the accusations of fascist or even Nazi tendencies and actions by him and his administration have multiplied.

     But this latest one I’m calling out is particularly horrific: The use of a powerful “for industrial use only” disinfectant called HDQ Neutral on captive immigrants at the Adelanto ICE Processing Center, a Trump administration-funded for-profit detention center outside of Los Angeles, CA.

     According to a report in the Independent, a UK newspaper, the powerful toxic ammonia-based chemical made by Spartan Chemical Co. is being sprayed in the occupied detention facility despite company warnings on the label that it only be used near people outdoors, not in confined spaces. Worse yet, there are allegations from detainees that the chemical is being sprayed directly on them, though the company’s label warns that exposure to the eyes can cause “permanent eye damage” while inhaling it can cause lung damage , breathing difficulty and asthma.

     The Nazi connection?  As Charles Vidich, author of a powerful and timely new book due out later this year on the history of quarantines in the US, dating back to the earliest days of the Colonies in the 1600s down to the present (Germs at Bay, Praeger),  notes, Zyklon B, the extermination gas of choice of Hitler’s Third Reich for its extermination camps, was actually a powerful cyanide-based insecticide invented during the late 19th Century. It was for decades, well into the early 20th century, used to fumigate ships engaged in international trade in order to kill rats, mice, fleas and other vermin.  The Nazis adopted a variant of the product to eliminate Jews, Gypsies, Communists, people with deformities or retardation and other “undesirables” during the war years.

     Now we have the administration of Donald Trump, whose own family had a history of Nazi sympathies and who himself has referred to Nazi demonstrators in the US as “good people,” similarly using an insecticide/disinfectant that is highly toxic and life-threatening on detained immigrants awaiting deportation.

     Investigations by Reuters an organization called the Shut Down Adelanto Coalition and a not-for-profit legal organization called Earthjustice, have learned that immigrants locked indoors in detention at Adelanto have been getting sprayed “as often as every 15-30 minutes,” sometimes directly at them, with a chemical that the company says should only be used outdoors or in well-ventilated areas. They are reporting rashes, nosebleeds, nausea, headaches and breathing difficulties among other symptoms following the spraying.

     I must point out that when I first learned about the vicious way African slaves were treated in the colonies and later in the United States by their owners, it struck me, even as a youngster, that it was strangely worse than these white owners treated their own beasts of burden. I wondered at that, only coming to understand later as I got older, that the abuse of slaves — the whippings, the starving, the over-working, etc. —  was a control mechanism, a dehumanization process of both owner and slave that wasn’t necessary in dealing with horses or cattle. I recognize that the same analysis applies to the way ICE and its detention center contract employees cruelly abuse their immigrant captives.

     HDQ Neutral thankfully isn’t as toxic as the Zyklon B gas used by Nazi death squads at the German extermination camps, but what is being done is still a grotesque chemical assault on America’s “undesirables,” differing from the   Nazi efforts against their human victims only in degree.  The inhumanity of the overlords administering this toxin to their captive victims is little different from that which was punished, often with death sentences, in the Nuremberg Trials that followed World War II.

     One can only hope that when this Trumpian nightmare is over in the US, Donald Trump and his criminal henchmen in the Homeland Security Department will be similarly hauled before a court to face crimes against humanity charges for their abuse of immigrants, including young children, as well as for their other grotesque crimes.”

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/sep/14/ice-detainees-hysterectomies-medical-neglect-irwin-georgia?fbclid=IwAR3-kzgCdJiRpvvX9Jow_zhrjxc5P8OMTrUIPjejPys1iIFewZLOH4ROeVw

https://www.jacobinmag.com/2015/09/nuremberg-laws-eugenics-germany-third-reich-nazis-holocaust-migrant-crisis-merkel-recession/

https://herri.org.za/5/steven-robins/

https://player.pbs.org/d84dc3ab-9e0a-4093-bc24-e98a9bf46868

September 14 2021 Bring On the Clowns: the California Recall Election

     A whole clown show of Republican challengers led by Larry Elder, described by President Biden as “a climate change denier who doesn’t think women are as smart as men” and who has published a statement claiming the election is unfair before the votes are even cast, signals a shift in their party’s campaign policy from one of obstructionism, vote suppression, electoral fraud, and theft of citizenship in reaction to their crumbling systems of white supremacist and patriarchal sexual terror to one of disavowment of belief in democracy itself.

     What does this mean? They have conceded the field of electoral politics because it is no longer possible to hold onto elite hegemonic power or any enduring influence in the institutions of our government, as their true intentions stand exposed before the world in the January 6 Insurrection, racist violence at our borders against Latinos and in our streets as their infiltration agents within our police continue to murder Black citizens with impunity and re-enslave them as prison labor, misogyny and the dehumanization and theft of freedom as bodily autonomy of women regarding reproductive rights, and the bizarre conspiracies of QAnon, vaccine and climate denial, and the stolen election myth which bear signs of mass hysteria and religious fanaticism. The Republican Party has lost its fig leaf of legitimacy, and as a Fourth Reich is now attempting to free itself of its host political system.

     This we must resist, and give to fascism the only reply it merits; Never Again.

      This is but a pathetic aping of the spectacles of terror and treason we were offered by their gilded calf from whose example they hope to profit, Our Clown of Terror, Traitor Trump. As I wrote in my post of August 25 2020, Welcome to Bizarro World, Where Truth and Lies Change Places and All Our Values Are Reversed; The Republican Party held up a mirror to America in the figure of Trump at last night’s National Convention, and I’m hoping most of us didn’t like what we saw.

      A funhouse mirror, filled with distorted images, a thing of surfaces without substance offering a mirage of illusions, lies, and reflections into infinite regress of our atavisms of fear and hate, shadows which we drag behind us in our wake like an invisible reptilian tail, and which like the picture of Dorian Grey reveal our disfigured souls and our failures as Americans and as human beings.

     It is an image designed to terrorize us into submission, and to steal our souls.

      Among the freaks and monsters, the litanies of victimhood and retribution, of dominion, white supremacy, patriarchy, and fascisms of blood, faith, and soil sung by the barkers and screaming johnnies who warmed up the main show, among all these and reigning over them like a ringmaster was the tyrant himself, Traitor Trump, spewing abominations and depravities as the puppet of the demons he worships, the lies of those who would enslave us. 

     Thanks for showing us what’s under your masks, Republicans; Treason, Racism, Untruth, Misogyny, Predator.

     Yet the willingness of the enemy to demonize himself is a great advantage, one we need only perform the four primary duties of a citizen to seize the moral high ground; Question Authority, Expose Authority, Mock Authority, and Challenge Authority. As I wrote in my post of October 16 2020, Savannah Guthrie Tames the Wild Beast; In the Big Top a monster was displayed before the crowd, fearsome and unclean, ululating its song of lies and defilement of American values. Juggling it came, proudly keeping a number of balls in the air with a nimbleness of diversion and misdirection with which to tantalize its degenerate hooting and champing fans; white supremacist terror, patriarchal sexual terror, and the state terror and tyranny of secret police and the subversion of our institutions of democracy, all the while greedily snapping from the air the money thrown to it.

    And with a crack of her whip Savannah Guthrie brought Trump to heel, made him sit up and beg for attention like the pathetic loser he is, exposed and challenged his web of lies and hate, mocked his idiocy and his madness, and put him through his paces. The world laughed at his antics, and he was diminished and made ridiculous.

     Savannah Guthrie has shown us all how to steal a tyrant’s power.

     Nor is she alone as an example of a truthteller who has called out “The Emperor has no clothes”. As I wrote in my post of July 28 2020, Pramila Jayapal’s Heroic Confrontation with Perpetrator of White Supremacist and Fascist State Terror Attorney General William Barr; If there are monsters among us concealed beneath the masks of men who hunt us from the shadows of their authoritarian force and control, so also are there fearless defenders who shield us from predators, those who place their lives in the balance with those of the powerless and the dispossessed, who speak for the silenced and the erased, and who question, mock, and challenge unjust authority; defenders of the vulnerable like Pramila Jayapal.

     Today she chewed up and spat out the disgusting ogre who squats upon his Throne of Pain and Fear as Attorney General of the festering and polluted court of our Clown of Terror, the mad idiot cesspool of lies and perversions Traitor Trump.

     Trump extrudes his hyena-like anus and marks his territory, gibbering with delight as he tosses bits of the stolen migrant children he feeds on and keeps in cages in the mazelike warrens beneath the White House to his pet beast of savage assault and violation of the innocent Big Bully Billy Barr, who gobbles them up with slobbering greedy enthusiasm.

     Into the lair of the Unclean strides an avatar of Justice in the form of Pramila of the Pure Heart, brandishing her lion-tamers whip, and Billy Barr cowers and whimpers piteously, displaying his vast grub-white belly in abject submission but spouting obscenities of racist delusions and lies, unable to conceal his true nature.

     Trump scuttles back into the darkness with the other crawling vile things among whom he belongs, Gideonite fundamentalist patriarchs of sexual terror, twisted and treasonous Nazi-Confederate lunatics of white supremacist terror, and his fellow psychopathic plutocrats and oligarchs who capitalize on vanity and greed in the dehumanization, commodification, and falsification of others, who croon soothing lullabies of wealth and power to Trump in three-part harmony while their puppetmaster in Russia Vladimir Putin pipes the tune.

     Pramila Pureheart sets a stopper in the hole into which they returned, and there is light once again.

     If only the banishing of our demons and the disfigurement of our history were so easy, but thank you Representative Jayapal for reminding us all that it is possible.

     And so we watch the capering monkeys perform their antics to the organ-grinders tune in the California recall election, and stand together in solidarity against their theft of our liberty knowing that we cannot be defeated so long as we see them for what they truly are.

    For we are many, we are watching, and we are the future.

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/sep/12/california-recall-election-candidates-larry-elder

September 13 2021 Dismantle Imperialism, Defund the Military

     As we begin to struggle free from twenty years of an Imperial phase of American history which also saw the centralization of power to the carceral state and the immunity of authority, as well the emergence of a Fourth Reich of white supremacist terror, patriarchal Gideonite fundamentalist sexual terror, and an amoral plutocracy wherein only power has meaning and only wealth has value, we must also free ourselves from the apparatus of force and control through which elites subjugate us; abolish police, prisons, borders, and the military, renounce the social use of force and disarm and defund police and the armed forces, and revoke the Patriot Act which authorizes all of this.

      In this moment of jubilation at the fall of the American Empire and our abandonment of the conquest and occupation of Afghanistan, we must remember that America too is under occupation by a carceral state, and that we have yet to dismantle the foreign bases and secret prisons of our global dominion and elite hegemony of wealth, power, and privilege. The Restoration of America now underway will remain incomplete until the people seize the power stolen from them by the state and realize the dream of democracy of a free society of equals.

     Let us remember the true lessons of our two nine elevens, the attack on the Twin Towers and America’s 1973 overthrow of the Allende government of Chile; Empires are built on fear weaponized in service to elite power through authoritarian state terror, and they are always unjust.

     And this above all; the use of force obeys the Third Law of Motion, that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction, and the harm we bring to others returns to us in terrible and unforeseen forms.

     As I wrote in my post of April 7 2021, How American Imperialism Created Our Humanitarian Crisis at the Border; Forty six years ago this April, America launched Operation Condor, a global campaign to destabilize and repress socialist governments and movements and defend capitalism as a hegemonic force and its elite hierarchies of wealth, power, and privilege. This remains relevant to us today because it is the origin of many of the push forces driving waves of refugees to our border, and the horrific humanitarian crisis and test of our democracy created by American imperialism.

     Migration is a word which conceals both the conditions which trigger it and our own complicity in creating them as consequences of our decades long policies of colonialism, anticommunist militarism, and economic warfare; ecological devastation with its drought and famine, poverty and social and political destabilization, an age of tyranny and state terror, genocide and ethnic cleansing, weaponized faith and its patriarchal sexual terror, and multigenerational wars.

     In terms of refugees fleeing to America for safety and survival as well as liberty and equality we are mainly speaking of Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua, though the hell zone of Columbia and Venezuela now accounts for many, and with the collapse of central authority in Mexico and its degeneration into a region of warlords, oligarchs, and feudal crime syndicates we have refugees from Mexico itself as well as the traditional seasonal laborers.

     Migrant labor is slave labor; this is the great truth America has never confronted and must now answer for in the suffering masses at our border. Entire sectors of our economy run on it; agriculture in which labor becomes a strategic resource as we starve without it, but also child and elder care, hospitality, and some manufacture. America’s wealth and power is created for us by others to whom we export the real costs of production, others who must remain invisible and exploitable as unregulated illegal labor to wring every ounce of value from them for our elites. Thus we weaponize economic disparity in service to power and privilege, and create and maintain hierarchies of exclusionary otherness and white supremacy.

     Interests of elite hegemonies of wealth and power converge here with those of racial privilege and white supremacy in historic toxicity, in parallel with the rise of the carceral state as an instrument for the re-enslavement of Black citizens as prison labor and the repression of the Civil Rights Movement, and have done so from their origins. One such origin point is America’s appropriation, concealment, and instrumentalization of Nazi war criminals in the repression of dissent and the conquest of the world.

     The Fourth Reich of which Trump was a figurehead did not emerge from nothing like Athena from the head of Zeus, but was an invention of American imperialism. As such its history and character as a global threat to democracy can be studied in the crisis of refugees and migration to which it has given birth, and in the legacies of our nation’s use of fascism as an instrument of dominion in the Americas, for as we were using it to conquer others, it was using us to seize the United States of America and the world.

     As I wrote in my post of February 18 2020, Guatemala: Our Heart of Darkness;  As we abduct and lockdown refugees in concentration camps and secret prisons, and drive others back into a Mexico whose government is supine before the power of its criminal organizations, we must reflect on the causes of this historic mass migration from Central America’s Dry Corridor of Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua; why is this happening, and what can be done to fix the problems which are driving it?

     Drought and famine caused by global warming and climate change are clear immediate causes and triggering stressors of the current migration, as articulated by José García Escobar and Melisa Rabanales in The Guardian last February.

     These conditions have worsened longstanding issues of endemic poverty and pervasive violence and criminality, legacies of historical colonialism and American imperialist and capitalist policies and interventions, which I have described in my post of September 4 2019;  There is an interesting connection between the chaos we created in Central America which is driving a mass exodus of immigration to our borders and the conspiracy theory of Islamic replacement of Europeans which inspires our greatest terrorist threat today; many of the white supremacists who ruled Algeria as a colony of France, mainly former Nazi soldiers who joined the Foreign Legion after the end of World War Two, were after its fall in 1962 hired by the government of the United States to rule El Salvador and Guatemala as puppet regimes to protect our corporate profits.

     With them came the same ideology and dream of a homeland and asylum for escaped Nazis, and a secure base of operations and launchpoint for the Fourth Reich, as with those who fled the fall of the colony of Algeria as a white ethnostate to France and blamed Charles de Gaulle for its abandonment, and whose descendants now form the core of Jean-Marie Le Pen’s National Front.

     Among the direct effects of the secret partnership between America and our former Nazi adversaries include:

     The 1954 seizure of Guatemala by Eisenhower’s CI.A., which replaced a Marxist who had seized land owned by United Fruit and redistributed it to Indian peasants with a furniture salesman from Honduras, Castillo Armas. During the course of this coup America bombed Guatemala City, killed 9,000 communists, disbanded the unions, drove off the squatters, drew up a blacklist of some 70,000 leftists, built death squads and secret prisons, gave torture and brigandage free reign, created an enduring political front, the MLN, and started making a profit from our plantations. 

     The 1961 seizure of Guatemala by C.I.A. officer Willauer leading 200 men, a Harvard lawyer who had flown as Chennault’s first officer with the Flying Tigers in China. Guatemala was the staging area for the Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba. Throughout the 1960-63 period of a civil war which continued until 1996, America crushed a pro-Castro rebellion using six C.I.A. bombers, exiled Cuban shock troops, and Green Berets who used the opportunity to test counterinsurgency theories later used in Vietnam.

     The 1974 accession of an officer of Armas named Alarcon to the Presidency of Guatemala, who institutionalized the MLN, declaring “I am a fascist, and I have tried to model my party on the Spanish Falange.”  He was, of course, a C.I.A. agent. Nixon once brought him along on his annual pilgrimage to consult with what he called his spiritual advisor, the infamous Nazi war criminal Josef Mengele.

     The 1982 seizure of power and Presidency of Rios Montt, an evangelical Sunday school teacher and personal friend of Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson, who suspended the constitution, replaced the courts with secret tribunals, escalated the scorched earth warfare, torture, and disappearances of his predecessors, and one thing more. During this the most terrible period of civil war throughout Central America, when Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras were in fact a single nation ruled by remnants of the Nazis we had transplanted from French Algeria as American puppet regimes, and with the full authority of Ronald Reagan, Rios Montt weaponized Protestantism against encroaching Catholic Liberation theology.

     During the 18 months of the Mayan Genocide, in which his death squads killed 3,000 people each month and annihilated 600 villages, he also instituted a system of forced labor in concentration camps modeled on the Apartheid system of South Africa and ruled by terror using former British police and Protestant Orange Militia units hired from Belfast, a mercenary force who had splendidly legal Hong Kong passports courtesy of the Thatcher government.

     During over 35 years of civil war in Guatemala including Rios Montt’s genocidal campaign of ethnic cleansing against the native Indians, about half a million Indians were killed, over one million conscripted into military service and used against their own people, tens of thousands driven into Mexico as refugees, and most of the rest worked to death in the concentration camps. No American Army came to liberate them; they were not white, and no one cared so long as the profits flowed. Guatemala is America’s Belgian Congo; our heart of darkness.

     I think of this every day as I eat my morning banana, for each one is the living form of a silent cry, the ghost of a tear, the memory of atrocity and horror, a thing like many others of fragile beauty and fleeting pleasure won by brutality and the theft of hope, pain and blood and death made manifest. For the dead and for wrongs past I can do nothing; it is the living who must be avenged and the future that must be redeemed.  

     The 1981 founding of ARENA in El Salvador and the 1982-3 Presidency of Roberto D’Aubuisson Arrieta, son of one of the original French Algerian OAS/Afrika Corps legionnaires and immigrants and leader of death squads since 1972, when he was trained at the US School of the Americas, often called a school for war criminals. During the peak of the civil war in 1983-84, about 8,000 people were killed every month in El Salvador. 

     The 1963-75 Honduran coup and military dictatorship of Arellano, for whose regime the term Banana Republic was coined, and of course the conduct of the Contra War beginning in 1980, which included the 1984 Honduran invasion of Nicaragua supported by 5,500 American troops.

     Together Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras were ruled for over a generation by America through our puppet tyrants and the ARENA and MLN parties we created. But there is more; much more, of which I will mention only four more brief examples here.  

     The 1964-85 rule of Brazil by the Arena Party and its legacy of torture and state terror which was ended by the total bankruptcy of the nation.

      The 1976 military coup in Argentina and the civil war which followed, during which some 20,000 persons were disappeared. Of our earlier involvements; Peron had been a protégé of Franco and Mussolini, and Evita was assassinated not by us but by Vatican Intelligence with radiation poisoning due to Peron’s campaign against the Church. The Vatican also ran the Swiss escape route used by Otto Skorzeny and other SS officers at the fall of the Third Reich whom we later hired. The most brazen flattery I have ever heard directed toward Oliver North was to compare him to Skorzeny.

     The 1973 assassination of Allende in Chile and support of the Pinochet regime which killed as many as one in every hundred of its citizens.

     Regarding Mexico, we long ago seized Texas and California, drew a line in the sand to weaponize disparity and create a mass resource of illegal and therefore exploitable quasi slave labor, and now call aliens everyone on the wrong side of it who comes here to pick the fruit, wash the dishes, and clean the toilets that our own nephews and nieces, children and grandchildren, would laugh in your face at the suggestion they get their hands dirty doing themselves.

    Fascism is a sin of pride whose effects reverberate still, propagating outward in ever-widening circles as a force of contagion like the ripples of a stone cast into a pond. And we are all complicit in it, who call ourselves Americans.

    We must make a better future than we have the past.

https://jacobinmag.com/2021/09/9-11-september-attacks-us-political-landscape-bin-laden-bush-obama-trump-immigration-national-security/?fbclid=IwAR3Ey0f3UjY5F1Cdy-HhYAPYRJwYKtyQzx2tZi7cpRb8BhkNX_HP7sHB8yo

https://jacobinmag.com/2020/11/operation-condor-cia-latin-america-repression-torture

https://jacobinmag.com/2021/04/greg-grandin-empires-workshop-2021-edition-review-latin-america-us-policy/

https://time.com/5951532/migration-factors/

https://jacobinmag.com/2014/11/whitewashing-imperialism

https://jacobinmag.com/2019/03/greg-grandin-end-of-the-myth

https://jacobinmag.com/2019/03/united-states-empire-colonies-philippines-immerwahr

https://jacobinmag.com/2019/05/green-new-deal-fight-militarism-imperialism

https://jacobinmag.com/2019/02/socialist-foreign-policy-bernie-sanders-us-military

https://jacobinmag.com/2021/09/us-military-foreign-policy-war-on-terror-institute-for-policy-studies-report

https://jacobinmag.com/2020/10/defund-us-military-spending-trump-pentagon

https://jacobinmag.com/2019/08/defense-spending-the-endless-frontier

https://jacobinmag.com/2019/04/military-budget-trump-space-force-nuclear-weapons-russia

https://jacobinmag.com/2021/09/mainstream-press-war-on-terror-media-september-11-attacks

https://jacobinmag.com/2019/08/the-armored-archipelago

https://jacobinmag.com/2020/10/us-military-bases-global-war-machine-imperialism

https://jacobinmag.com/2020/09/war-on-terror-displacement-refugees-us-imperialism

https://jacobinmag.com/2021/09/september-11-anniversary-war-terror-bin-laden

https://jacobinmag.com/2021/09/war-on-terror-afghanistan-institute-for-policy-studies-9-11-militarization

https://jacobinmag.com/2021/07/fbi-domestic-war-on-terror-authoritarianism-gretchen-whitmer-civil-liberties

September 12 2021 Global and National Threats to Peace and Freedom

      A thorough and balanced precis and interpretation of the threats we face today both globally and as a nation is offered in a New America article of last year, Terrorism in America 19 Years After 9/11, by David Sterman, Peter Bergen, and Melissa Salyk-Virk. Its publication coincided with the DHS official annual report on terrorism, and is an important codicil to it, independently researched. Both are more than simple threat analyses, and represent attempts to place the tragic events of Nine One One in historical context.

     Its authors ignore America’s police violence, state terror, and the network of white supremacist terror groups which are operating in coordination with infiltration agents within police and other security services, and the logistical support structure which enables and directs their operations linking public figures and government officials to hate crimes, but other than this misdirection is a fair and balanced report.

     What are the greatest threats to national and global peace and freedom we face today?

     America is the greatest threat to peace and democracy in the world today, though our government has been seized by the people from the Fourth Reich in Biden’s Restoration of America and we have begun the generations long process of purging our nation of its fascisms of blood, faith, and soil, and of our systems and institutions of racist and sexual terror and their historical legacies, but we have also as a consequence of the Trump Fourth Reich era reversed our historic role as the primary guarantor of democracy and universal human rights and become the major perpetrator of global tyranny and terror in our support of authoritarian and criminal regimes.

     One example is Trump’s miracle of imperialism in the breaking of Arab unity with Palestine using Iran as a boogeyman, a reversal of historic alliances which has won security and legitimacy before the international community for our proxy Israel, sanctioned the humanitarian disaster of the Saudi-UAE proxy war in Yemen, and secured our hegemonic control of oil as a strategic resource, albeit one which is responsible for the disasters of global climate change and possibly the extinction of humankind.

     In refusing to sanction Saudi Arabia for the state murder of Khashoggi we have also authorized the killing of inconvenient truth tellers by other brutal regimes. In this America is consistent with the silencing of whistleblowers like Snowden and Assange. In effect, there is no freedom of the press, of speech, or of information in America, and we have exported this theft of our sacred rights to the world.

     America also continues to threaten Maduro’s Venezuela, and is the primary cause of economic collapse and a descent into rule by criminal oligarchies in Latin America, resulting in a vast humanitarian crisis of refugees at our border.

     Our shifting alliances and imperialist ambitions in the Middle East have also resulted in destabilization in Iraq, Lebanon, and Syria, where we contend for influence with Iran.

     On the Domestic front our Clown of Terror, Traitor Trump, his stooges and thugs William Barr and Chad Wolf, and everyone who has abetted and enabled his fascist criminal conspiracy and subversion of democracy is also a public enemy who has thus far escaped being held responsible for the subversion and monkeywrenching of democracy, including all Republicans who have not disavowed their membership in the Party of Treason, White Supremacist Terror, and Gideonite Sexual Terror; our nation has thereby implicitly authorized and conferred immunity for future acts of treason and terror in service to fascism, racism, and patriarchy.

     Who are the other major threats to world peace and freedom?

     Russia under Putin, because they were Trump’s puppetmasters and still actively seek our destruction, the only foreign enemy to openly disrupt our elections and seize our government, and because of the epic contest for dominion of the Middle East and the Mediterranean between Russia and Turkey which has plunged Syria and Libya into destructive Great Powers wars and created humanitarian disasters. And now, Putin’s support of tyranny in Belarus.

   Communist China under Xi Jinping, because of the horrific genocide and ethnic cleansing of the Muslims of Xinjiang, and because of the colonialist conquest of Hong Kong in violation of international law and the inherent right of sovereignty and independence of all humankind. Also because of the archipelago of island fortresses they have constructed as the launching point for their conquest of the Pacific Rim and occupation of the world’s port cities with Chinatowns, as they claim all ethnic Chinese as their citizens regardless of where they were born or live. The CCP is the only major power which plans to enact world conquest and domination, and ultimately the eradication of all religions and the assimilation or genocide of all non ethnic Chinese peoples. They represent the greatest long term threat the world has ever seen.

     While there are many other threats to world civilization, these three empires, America, Russia, and the Chinese Communist Party, could not only destroy us utterly, but could do so accidently.

     India under Modi is waging a war of conquest in Kashmir and are playing a game of nuclear chicken with both Pakistan and China, and a campaign of ethnic cleansing internally.   

     Hungary under Orban has become a Nazi stronghold and launching pad for fascist revivalism throughout Europe.

      Israel remains an imperialist military state tyranny of Jewish tribalism and faith and an ongoing threat to Palestine, Lebanon, and neighboring states. Israel learned the wrong lessons from the Nazis, and now imposes on others what it once survived.

     Syria under Assad has become a regional destabilization factor which invites the imperial ambitions of Russia, Turkey, Iran, America, and just about anyone who can throw a rock far enough to reach Damascus. That Assad’s brutal regime is virtually unparalleled in its crimes against humanity since Sarajevo is just the beginning of the disaster, whose refugees were driven by Erdogan to the gates of Europe and moved Europe nearer fascism as a result.

     Turkey under Erdogan, whose dreams of retaking the lands of the former Ottoman Empire are challenged by Russia in Syria and Libya, and who has relentlessly pursued the genocide of the Kurds.

     Iran and the Arab-American Alliance are equal partners in a humanitarian disaster and struggle for dominion throughout the Middle East. Iran now controls the governments of Iraq, Lebanon, and Yemen, where it is contested by the Arab-American Alliance, and shares influence in Syria with Russia.

     Pakistan’s seizure of Afghanistan through her proxy the Taliban has been dramatic in realigning the balances of power in the region, power captured from the American empire they have now overthrown. Why Afghanistan? How does Pakistan plan to use their new sister state, which they have invested in creating for over thirty years? Harken and awake, for a new global power emerges.  

     Brasil under Bolsonaro is a major source of ecological disaster and the looming extinction of humankind, and has waged both racist and class war against the mass poor of African slave descent and the indigenous peoples of the Amazon.

     Local tyrannies and atrocities which may destabilize entire regions include Myanmar under the junta and the ethnic cleansing campaign against the Rohingya, Zimbabwe under Mnangagwa, Belarus under Lukashenko, Eqypt under al-Sisi, and Chile under Piñera.

      The Ethiopia-Tigray Civil War threatens regional destabilization and ethnic conflict which involves the Sudan, Oromo, and Somali border areas. This potential for regional conflagration is also true of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan, the parallel socialist Revolution and Islamic Insurgency in Mozambique and Tanzania centered in Cabo Delgado, a similar Islamic Insurgency in the Sahel involving Mali, Niger, and Chad, the Venezuela-Columbia zone of conflict, the independence struggle of the Saharawi Republic against conquest and occupation by Morocco, and the reset of the Revolution in Haiti, as always the best nightmare on earth.

    Wikipedia classifies among ongoing conflicts four major wars including Afghanistan, Yemen, Tigray, and the narcoterrorist crime syndicate war in the failed state of Mexico, sixteen conflicts resulting in under ten thousand direct deaths in battle, 27 conflicts in which fewer than a thousand of us have died,  and thirteen in which fewer than one hundred lives were lost. That totals sixty wars ongoing today, in which human beings will die at the hands of others tomorrow. Must this remain true for all of our tomorrows?

     This year I have fought in the Third Intifada in al Quds, where I was shot, bayoneted, blown up, and set on fire, having avoided any serious mishaps, buried a friend assassinated by Israel in Gaza, brought the Chaos and made mischief for tyrants in Barcelona, Yangon, Belfast, Kolkata, Hong Kong, Port au Prince, and Durban, and have spent recent weeks on horseback in remote tribal areas of Afghanistan west of the Khyber Pass, including the Panjshir Valleys. I have seen the best and the worst of human possibilities, and have lived this way for nearly forty years, beyond the boundaries of the Forbidden and the limits of what is human.

     This is I can tell you without question; none of us are beyond the redemptive power of love, or without hope. Our future possibilities of becoming human are yet unwritten, and limitless.

     We have no shortage of tyrants who threaten global stability, or issues which could engulf whole regions in a general bonfire of the vanities. We are in short supply of compassion, vision, and solidarity among humankind in the face of existential threats to our survival and to our liberty.

     It’s time to begin thinking in new ways about our differences and our common needs and resources; we can be tribes no longer, warring for diminishing shares of the earth’s plenty, but a single united humankind, responsible for one another and for our future possibilities of becoming human.

https://jacobinmag.com/2021/09/9-11-september-attacks-us-political-landscape-bin-laden-bush-obama-trump-immigration-national-security

https://www.cnn.com/2020/09/11/opinions/terrorism-extremism-9-11-pandith-ware/index.html

https://www.newamerica.org/international-security/reports/terrorism-america-19-years-after-911/

https://www.cfr.org/global-conflict-tracker/?category=us

https://acleddata.com/2021/02/02/ten-conflicts-to-worry-about-in-2021/

https://reliefweb.int/report/world/10-conflicts-watch-2021

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_ongoing_armed_conflicts

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_active_rebel_groups

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Failed_state

September 11 2021 Anniversary of the Twin Towers Terror Attack and the Dawn of the Fourth Reich

On this day of tragedy and woe, the anniversary of the Twin Towers terror attack and the deaths of thousands of the innocent who worked in them and of the heroic emergency services responders, our police, fire, and medical personnel who risked themselves to save others, a national day of mourning, rage, and remembrance, and of the dawn of the Fourth Reich of totalitarian state terror and tyranny which emerged in its wake. 

     I find it terribly convenient for our elites to have a national trauma and disruptive event to seize upon for the purpose of transforming America from a democracy to a carceral state of force and control through the interdependence of military imperialism and the counterinsurgency model of policing.

     This has created the preconditions of weaponized fear and submission to absolute state authority for the fall of America as a primary guarantor of liberty and a beacon of hope to the world, and with the Trump regime delivered us into the tyranny of the Fourth Reich and fascisms of blood, faith, and soil.

     That Trump and his Republican conspirators in treason were for four terrible years able to use our government as an instrument of white supremacist terror and Gideonite fundamentalist patriarchal sexual terror is due entirely to the collapse of American values of freedom, equality, truth, and justice in the wake of Nine Eleven, manipulation and subversion by our enemies, and the capture of the narrative of our response by what Eisenhower called the military industrial complex, abetted by plutocratic interest in oil as a strategic resource of the American Imperial hegemony of power and privilege.

      But before all else is the precondition of unequal power and divisions of exclusionary otherness.

      The Imperial era of American history in the wake of 9-11 saw the invasion of Iraq and the conquest and twenty years of colonial occupation of Afghanistan, but equally the seizure of our democracy by a carceral state of prisons, concentration camps at our borders, pervasive surveillance, and the use of Fox News as fascist propaganda; the subversion and subjugation of America.

     Our withdrawal from Afghanistan is now final; their future belongs to the Afghans to choose. Let us now repeal the Patriot Act and abandon the failed counterinsurgency model of policing as an instrument of white supremacist terror, and restore America to its citizens.

https://www.cnn.com/2020/09/11/opinions/terrorism-extremism-9-11-pandith-ware/index.html

https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/afghanistan/2021-08-13/osama-bin-ladens-911-catastrophic-success?fa_anthology=1127819

https://jacobinmag.com/2021/09/9-11-september-attacks-us-political-landscape-bin-laden-bush-obama-trump-immigration-national-security/?fbclid=IwAR3Ey0f3UjY5F1Cdy-HhYAPYRJwYKtyQzx2tZi7cpRb8BhkNX_HP7sHB8yo

https://jacobinmag.com/2021/09/mainstream-press-war-on-terror-media-september-11-attacks

https://jacobinmag.com/2020/09/war-on-terror-displacement-refugees-us-imperialism

https://jacobinmag.com/2021/07/fbi-domestic-war-on-terror-authoritarianism-gretchen-whitmer-civil-liberties

https://jacobinmag.com/2021/09/us-military-foreign-policy-war-on-terror-institute-for-policy-studies-report

https://jacobinmag.com/2021/09/september-11-anniversary-war-terror-bin-laden

https://jacobinmag.com/2021/09/war-on-terror-afghanistan-institute-for-policy-studies-9-11-militarization

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