- Ordinary people across the Middle East, Europe and America
are fed up and want long denied social justice.
- Londoners are enraged about growing social pain, government
in the pockets of monied interests, and endless imperial wars they want
ended - NOW!
- On October 8, The London Guardian headlined, "Stop
the War Coalition demo in London marks 10th anniversary of Afghan war,"
- Protesters read aloud names of fallen UK soldiers, sacrificing
their lives for war profiteer gains.
- Masses "attended the Stop the War Coalition demonstration
in Trafalgar Square, led by a former soldier who refused to fight and a
106-year-old peace activist."
- Court martialed and jailed for refusing to serve, Lance
Corporal Joe Glenton read a letter to Prime Minister Cameron signed by
other former US and UK servicemen, saying:
- "We are making this statement in defiance of the
propaganda and lies in support of the so-called war on terror for the last
- "We know these wars have nothing to do with democracy
or security or women's rights or peace or stability. They are fought for
money and power and nothing else."
- Precisely so! Wars are never for liberation, humanitarian
reasons or democratic values. They're for imperial dominance, colonization,
resource and people exploitation, and war profiteering enrichment, no matter
the body count to achieve them.
- "Our comrades' blood has lubricated the ambitions
of the few," read Glenton.
- On October 6, Guardian writer Simon Jenkins wrote what's
never seen on US television or broadsheet op-eds, headling: "Vanity,
machismo and greed have blinded us to the folly of Afghanistan," saying:
- "Everything about Afghanistan beggars belief. This
week," Washington's installed puppet leader Karzai "brazenly
signed a military agreement with India, knowing it would enrage" Pakistan.
- "Meanwhile, in Washington, the Pentagon is exulting
over its new strategy of drone killing, claiming this aerial 'counterterrorism'
" can win hearts and minds.
- In Helmand, British journalists regurgitated the Big
Lie about "real progress" being made.
- In private meetings, generals admit the war was lost
years ago, whatever strategy is used. No matter. Entering its second decade,
it's ongoing endlessly.
- War in Afghanistan "has been a catalogue of unrelieved
folly....Britain's part in this has been dire....Democracy has snatched
defeat from the arms of victory - without a shred of a reason."
- New York Times and Washington Post editorial writers
commemorated the Afghan war's 10th anniversary with silence. Television
reports regurgitated the Big Lie heard in Britain and America about progress
- In his 1995 book, "In Retrospect: The Tragedy and
Lessons of Vietnam," former Defense Secretary Robert McNamara wrote:
- "(W)e were wrong, terribly wrong. We owe it to future
generations to explain why."
- In 1965, he knew the war was lost and said so, telling
- "I don't believe they're ever going to quit. And
I don't see that we have any plan for victory - militarily or diplomatically."
- At the same, he ordered dramatic escalation, no matter
the futility or lawlessness.
- Repeatedly, General William Westmoreland told Congress
and the US public that progress was being made. On Meet the Press on November
19, 1967, he regurgitated the lie, saying he felt confident "within
two years or less....we will be able to phase-down the level of our military
- Two months later Tet began, convincing Pentagon commanders
and growing numbers of Congress that the war was lost. Nonetheless, US
troops stayed until Washington ended its involvement unceremoniously with
a humiliating Saigon embassy rooftop pullout.
- Will Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya end the same way? Will
many thousands more die before they do? Will Americans demand they end
now? Thousands of Stop the Machine Washington occupiers:
- "pledge(d) that if any US troops, contractors, or
mercenaries remain in Afghanistan on Thursday, October 6, 2011....I will
commit to being in (Washington's) Freedom Plaza....with others....for as
long as I can (to) mak(e) it our Tahrir Square....our Madison, Wisconsin,
where we will NONVIOLENTLY resist the corporate machine (and) demand America's
resources be invested in human needs and environmental protection instead
of war and exploitation."
- "We can do this together. We will be the beginning."
- Many there pledged they won't leave until their demands
are met. They're sick and tired of being sick and tired and want change.
- Spreading US Protests
- At the same time, Occupy Wall protests spread in weeks
to nearly 1,000 cities and towns nationwide. They're the first national
uprising in decades. Nothing like them has been seen since earlier civil
rights and anti-Vietnam war activism.
- Global justice demonstrations since Seattle 1999 lasted
several days then ebbed. Today's rage against the system shows promise
provided spirited energy doesn't wane, leaders emerge to sustain it, and
focus concentrates on what matters most - money power in private hands
to make more of it at the public's expense.
- Wall Street controlled money can't co-exist with democracy
and social justice. It bribes political Washington to get what it wants.
It buys members of America's duopoly like toothpaste.
- Americans have the best democracy money can buy. Addressing
Freedom Plaza activists on October 8, Ralph Nader said:
- "It is time for citizens to push their elected officials
to break the corporate stranglehold on our country."
- "Congress has done more to bail out Wall Street
than Main Street." Infinitely more, in fact, with sustained trillions
of dollars of handouts. At least, $16.1 trillion but very likely much more
- "Wall Street crooks have avoided penalties and prosecution
and continued to receive bonuses and excessive compensation while pensions
and saving have been looted."
- Record corporate profits belie a growing Main Street
Depression. Unemployment is over double official numbers. America's worst
ever housing crisis continues with no end in sight. Millions lost homes.
Millions more will before it ends. Washington is doing nothing to help
or create jobs.
- "(I)income inequality in this country" is unprecedented.
(T)he top 1% of the population has financial wealth equal to the combined
financial wealth of the bottom 95% of the people."
- Protests across America are "way overdue (to make)
the president and Congress listen."
- They hear, but they don't care. They know, but they do
nothing. They talk, but they don't act.
- Business as usual won't end until people power replaces
fossilized duopoly power with progressive government of, by and for the
- Its main focus must be on returning money power to public
hands where it belongs. Without it other objectives will fail, including
ones Occupy Wall Street (OWS) adopted on September 29.
- They stress:
- social justice;
- environmental sanity;
- people, not corporate power;
- real, not fake democracy;
- ending inequality and persecution;
- reenergizing organized labor;
- ending America's student loan racket;
- mandating education and universal healthcare as fundamental
- creating jobs and assuring working Americans have living
- restoring, protecting and preserving a free and open
- getting money out of politics; and
- ending America's global imperial wars.
- These are problems and objectives. To one degree or another,
many, perhaps most, people understand the importance of addressing them.
- Solutions, however, aren't proposed. Demands aren't made,
nor are concrete pledges for specific steps to be undertaken to achieve
- Among others they should include:
- abolishing or nationalizing the Federal Reserve;
- ending all banker bailouts and other corporate handouts;
- revoking corporate personhood;
- reinstating Glass-Steagall, decoupling commercial from
investment banks and insurers, among other provisions to curb speculation;
- imposing a Tobin tax on large financial transactions;
- a progressive income tax replacing today's dysfunctional
- removing the payroll tax ceiling, taxing all earned income
at the same rate including capital gains;
- empowering workers to bargain collectively with management
on equal terms;
- guaranteeing a living wage, adjusted by urban, rural,
state and local considerations;
- guaranteeing income for the indigent;
- real regulatory reform, reinstituting vital ones eroded
- abolishing monopoly and oligopoly power;
- strengthening public education;
- enacting universal, single-payer healthcare, excluding
predatory insurers, except as a voluntary option;
- prohibiting money in politics and barring corporations
from controlling elections by easily manipulated electronic voting machines;
- make banking a public utility, encouraging publicly owned
- Achieving these and other goals depends on returning
money power to public hands. Otherwise, political Washington may only approve
cosmetic changes too meager to matter.
- Money power runs America. Baron MA Rothschild (1818 -
1874) once said, "Give me control over a nation's currency and I care
not who makes its laws."
- With it comes supreme power to control world markets,
resources, and cheap labor, exploiting them for maximum profits.
- Thomas Jefferson railed against money power, saying:
- "I sincerely believe that banking institutions are
more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. (Money power) should
be taken from the banks and restored to the people to whom it properly
- He later said:
- "I hope we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy
of our monied corporations which dare already to challenge our government
to a trial of strength, and bid defiance to the laws of our country."
- James Madison called bankers "Money Changers,"
- "History records that (they) have used every form
of abuse, intrigue, deceit and violent means possible to maintain their
control over government by controlling money and its issuance."
- Andrew Jackson called bankers "vipers and thieves."
Refusing to renew its charter, he described the Bank of the United States,
America's 19th century quasi central bank, as a "hydra-headed monster."
Jefferson opposed chartering it in the first place.
- Lincoln called predatory money power "more despotic
than a monarch, more insolent than autocracy, and more selfish than a bureaucracy....I
have two great enemies, the Southern Army in front of me and the bankers
in the rear. Of the two, the one at the rear is my greatest foe."
- The 1913 Federal Reserve Act giving Wall Street money
power was America's most destructive ever legislation. For nearly a century,
it extracted a huge toll, amounting to permanent debt bondage by transferring
national wealth to private hands.
- John Adams once said, "There are two ways to conquer
and enslave a nation. One is by the sword. The other is by debt."
- Former Supreme Court Justice Louis D. Brandeis (1856
- 1941) said, "We can have democracy in this country, or we can have
great wealth concentrated in the hands of the few, but we can't have both."
- Of course, America never had democracy. It has representative
rule by political officials serving wealth and power interests only. More
concentrated now than ever, ordinary people are entirely shut out.
- Finally growing numbers said no more. Rallying impressively,
it remains to be seen where this goes.
- Will activists avoid being co-opted by political power
brokers, corrupted labor bosses, and billionaires like George Soros wanting
nothing interfering with how they operate?
- Will their energy be sustained or will it wane, especially
when northern cities get cold? Will numbers grow exponentially or diminish?
Will achieving social justice matter enough to sustain enough spirit to
fight for it and not quit?
- Staying the course isn't easy. Victories never come easily
or quickly. So far street activism is impressive. Hopefully it's got legs.
Follow-up articles will report on if so.
- A Final Comment
- Whenever potentially significant social change movements
emerge, powerful behind the scenes manipulators try to subvert them.
- Occupy Wall Street is no exception. On October 7, Webster
Tarpley asked who's behind wanting to hijack the movement, saying:
- General Assemblies appear to be diversions. About "20
mysterious and anonymous individuals (comprising) a kind of steering committee
(are) pull(ing) the strings" behind the scenes.
- "Many....appear to be active duty or recently retired
military (taking orders from higher-ups)....If OWS leaders want to be transparent,
let them" disclose their names forthrightly.
- General Assemblies (GA) focus mostly on "trivia
while the really big decisions are being made someplace else" behind
- Notably key figures like Michael Moore, Naomi Klein,
Mike Myers and Joseph Stiglitz have appeared prominently. Regular GA participants
"were never consulted about whether to invite" them.
- At issue is subverting money power change, manipulating
consensus, and co-opting OWS fervor "to get Obama reelected."
- "The consensus method provides immense comfort to
predatory speculators on Wall Street, since it virtually guarantees that
no potent and controversial strategy to break the power of finance capital
- In other words, it assures failure if committed activists
aren't informed and aroused enough to stop them.
- Stay tuned. Stay involved, and spread the word so everyone
in the fight for social change knows what needs to be done to achieve it.
- Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at
- Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and
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