The participants in this unique dialogue may have been doing no less than opening the window on the next 500 years.
As scary and stupefying as our world sometimes seems, we are at a place of enormous potential right now — a transition point of unprecedented understanding among cultures and peoples and worldviews. Pushing that understanding, creating, in the words of the late physicist David Bohm, a milieu of “participatory consciousness” among radically diverse thinkers, is the idea behind the Language of Spirit Conference, sponsored by the SEED Graduate Institute, which has been held in Albuquerque every year since 1999.
“… America is a new kind of society that produces a new kind of human being. That human being – confident, self-reliant, tolerant, generous, future-oriented – is a vast improvement over the wretched, servile, fatalistic and intolerant human being that traditional societies have always produced.”
– Dinesh D’Souza, What’s So Great About America
Implicit in all the rhetoric our leaders spout about globalisation is the idea that the rest of the world should eventually be brought up to the standard of living of the West, and America in particular. Read between the lines of the ‘sustainable development’ argument and you’ll find the American Dream lurking: it is globalisation’s touchstone, its apparent endpoint.
But if this is the direction globalisation is taking us, it is worth examining where America itself is headed. A good way to do so is to take a hard look at America’s children, since so many features of the global monoculture have been in place their whole lives. They are like canaries in a mineshaft: if the American Dream isn’t working for them, why should anyone, anywhere, believe it would work better for their own children?
This list of 100+ links—in reverse chronological order—was created in preparation for the next issue of Press for Conversion! (the magazine of Coalition to Oppose the Arms Trade). The theme of that issue (#65) will be the hyper-militarisation of development assistance to Haiti.
I hope this compilation of articles serves as a useful resource for activists, researchers and others concerned about the latest military invasion of Haiti, the pretexts for that invasion and the real reasons behind it.
President becomes UN Special Envoy to earthquake-stricken Haiti. A born-again neo-conservative US business wheeler-dealer preacher claims Haitians are condemned for making a literal ‘pact with the Devil.’ Venezuelan, Nicaraguan, Bolivian, French and Swiss rescue organizations accuse the US military of refusing landing rights to planes bearing necessary medicines and urgently needed potable water to the millions of Haitians stricken, injured and homeless.
Did the mining of Haiti’s riches since 2004 GW Bush regime change cause the earthquake? Listen to Ezili Dantò on mining Haiti’s riches and concern for environmental degradation by the foreign companies. (Read the transcript with reference links.)
“The idea that human activity can cause seismic activity is widely accepted in the scientific community …the connection between oil production and earthquakes dates back to at least the 1920s, when geologists in South Texas noted faulting near the Goose Creek oil field…A 1967 human-triggered earthquake in western India linked to the Koyna Dam registered a 7.0 earthquake.”
Since the earthquake, I’ve had occasion to ponder, like many others, about what may have caused this heretofore-unknown natural disaster in Haiti? Continue reading →
Haiti falls apart and America’s journalists are on the ground, bringing us the spectacle of devastation. We care, we donate, we shake our heads in horror at the human toll of poverty.
A bare foot sticks out of a pile of cinder blocks.
“They’ve been digging for five hours,” says Anderson Cooper. He sticks his mike in the rubble. Oh my God, she’s alive. We can hear her screaming! “They only have this one shovel.”
OK, freeze frame. Something is so wrong with this picture, this moment: to be watching — live! — in comfortable detachment as a group of men dig desperately, by hand and with that single shovel, to free a 15-year-old girl trapped in the wreckage of a building. Continue reading →
For those interested in a populist view of Haitian neocolonialism, recommended are two independently produced documentaries. The Media Haiti site has posted a 15-minute film, Haiti as Invisible and BrassCheck TV has posted an 88-minute film, Haiti: We would rather die standing.
Even in its hour of utter devastation, Haiti, the western hemisphere’s poorest country, teaches the rest of the world some valuable truths. This Caribbean island nation of nine million people has right now a third of its population cut off from basic supplies of food, water, medicine or shelter. In the blink of an eye, the earthquake that hit the country has buried a capital city of three million people under rubble for which the eventual death toll may be between 100,000 and 500,000. Just like that.
After five months of political chaos in Honduras, repeated attempts to reach a negotiated agreement for restoration of constitutional order have failed due to the defiant recalcitrance of the Roberto Micheletti coup regime and the complicity of the State Department. Given this impasse and the deepening human rights crisis, it is widely recognized that conditions for holding free, fair and transparent elections on November 29, just days from now, do not exist.
In this American Force Press Service file photo, 1st Infantry Division Soldiers look on as Afghan National Army soldiers zero their weapons during basic rifle marksmanship training on Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, Feb. 11, 2009.
By Robert C. Koehler Tribune Media Services
Right up there with “our mission,” in the pantheon of sacred foreign policy mumbo-jumbo, is “training Afghan security forces,” that endless, multibillion-dollar prerequisite for our departure from the country.
In the past ten years, South America has moved toward integration, a prerequisite for independence; has broadened international ties; and has addressed internal disorders—foremost, the traditional rule of a rich Europeanized minority over a sea of misery and suffering. It rejects the US “War on Drugs” and “War on Terror.”
The US doesn’t like this, and plans to make its new seven military bases in Colombia the center of its Latin American operations. The Obama administration is also building mega-embassies in Pakistan and Afghanistan.
In her new book Blood & Capital: The Paramilitarization of Colombia, author Jasmin Hristov writes: “For roughly forty years, the Colombian state has been playing a double game: prohibiting the formation of paramilitary groups with one law and facilitating their existence with another; condemning their barbarities and at the same time assisting their operations; promising to bring perpetrators of crime to justice, while opening the door to perpetual immunity; convicting them of narco-trafficking, yet profiting from their drug deals; announcing to the world the government’s persecution of paramilitary organizations, even though in reality these ‘illegal armed groups’ have been carrying out the dirty work unseemly for a state that claims to be democratic and worthy of billions of dollars in US military aid.”
A sign in Caracas, Venezuela, denounces the Colombian government's decision to allow the U.S. military to use some of its bases. Colombia has accused Venezuela of supporting anti-government rebels, known as the FARC. Thomas Coex/AFP/Getty Images
After Honduras, is Venezuela next? Even supporters of the bases have inadvertently provided reasons to worry. During the Colombia debate, a senator supporting the bases spent over 40 minutes comparing, via a PowerPoint presentation complete with photos and detailed descriptions, the military arsenals of Colombia and Venezuela. He concluded that since Colombia’s arsenal is substantially smaller and less powerful than Venezuela’s and since Colombia would therefore lose in a war against its neighbor, Colombia should accept the U.S. military bases with open arms.
The most striking aspect of the prolonged and deepening world recession/depression is the relative and absolute passivity of the working and middle class in the face of massive job losses, big cuts in wages, health care and pension payments and mounting housing foreclosures. Never in the history of the 20-21st Century has an economic crisis caused so much loss to so many workers, employees, small businesses, farmers and professionals with so little large-scale public protest.
To explore some tentative hypotheses of why there is little organized protest, we need to examine the historical-structural antecedents to the world economic depression. Continue reading →
Since the 1950s, the US, thru its Dept. of Defense, has sponsored or supported military establishments throughout South and Central America over Left-leaning, progressive governments.
WHISK (fka School of the Americas*) trains military generals who then return home and overthrow their government — like two of the Honduran generals who ousted the democratically elected president at gunpoint in June.
The US refuses to call this a military coup. Hillary Clinton called President Zelaya’s attempt to re-enter his country “reckless.” The European Union denounced the coup and cut off all aid. The US has refused to do so, and continues to send US aid to Honduras. The US funds dictatorship over election results.