Category Archives: Obama

Mainers Speak Out Against Bombing Syria

I made this video at the protest in Monument Square in downtown Portland, Maine. I only talked to two people who were ambivalent about whether America should do anything in Syria. This is my reply to Portland Press Herald columnist, Bill Nemitz, who made it seem like everyone there backed Obama:

I usually appreciate most of your writings, but this time you are just another in the mainstream media beating the drums of war. I was there yesterday and interviewed on camera far more people than you did, and their stories are quite a bit different. They don’t want perpetual war, they don’t want violence, they are sick and tired of the fear the government and military industrial complex has been using on the American people.

Everyone I interviewed wanted peace and demanded a political solution to these conflicts the world over. Everyone I interviewed was opposed to the U.S. assuming the role of the planet’s sheriff. And just about everyone knew that this was, as it always has been in all of the U.S. conflicts, all about oil and extracting resources with the use of force when the local indigenous people object. The presidents and politicians talk about “national interests” not national defense. America’s national interests are the resources the greedy corporations need to make money. All of those people in Monument Squareknow that endless war-making and an economy based on consumption are not sustainable. And all of those people know that we no longer have a government that represents the people. It has been taken over by corporate interests and the oligarchy.

Finally Bill, an honest look at the world, at least since European exploration and imperialism since the 15th century, demonstrates that the white, exceptionalist Europeans have always seen the world’s resources as theirs to claim, all the while committing genocide of the native peoples whom they considered to be evil, less than human, and savages. When those explorers came to this country, the massacred native Americans and stole their ancestral lands.

The U.S. has engaged in more than 180 conflicts around the world since 1798…all for control of resources that were claimed for national interests. In all of those conflicts spanning two centuries, the U.S. has killed untold MILLIONS of innocent indigenous people by  wholesale massacres and indiscriminate bombing. Everyone I interviewed is outraged at the duplicity of the U.S. in holding anyone accountable for human rights violations and war crimes when this country has committed far worse atrocities over the span of more than 200 years!

The U.S. objecting to the use of chemical weapons and weapons of mass destruction is the most disingenuous lie of all, for in our name, the U.S. has used Agent Orange, napalm, white phosphorous and the most terrifying weapon of mass destruction, the atomic bomb….not once, but twice.

So, Bill, this time you missed something, right in step with the rest of the corporate-owned media. You missed the untold history of this country, and the evil that continues to be done in our name.

As in the run up to each and every foreign war the U.S. has fought, we have been lied to and frightened into believing that America is at risk, our lives and precious lifestyles will be harmed, and the lie of the great American Way of Life will be exposed.

The endless war on terror and the global imperial advance of the U.S. guarantees perpetual war. Most, if not all, of the people in Monument Square and the millions of Americans and people around the world out protesting this week against another American military intervention know this. And you missed it… the real story.

Here’s the link to his irresponsible bit of reporting, if anyone cares to read it:

http://www.pressherald.com/politics/syrian-images-hang-over-peace-protest_2013-09-01.html

U.S. Expands Presence in S. Korea

New Hdqtrs in Busan

 

South Korean and U.S. military top brass, including Vice Adm. Robert Thomas Jr. (4th from L), the commander of U.S. 7th Fleet, attend a ceremony to break ground for a new headquarters for the U.S. Naval Forces Korea in Busan, 450 km southeast of Seoul, on Aug. 29, 2013. U.S. naval forces are currently based at the U.S. Army Garrison in Seoul. The new facility is expected to be completed in 2015. Some 28,500 American soldiers are stationed in Korea as a legacy of the 1950-53 Korean War. (Yonhap)

Will the advance of the empire never end? It doesn’t say who is paying for this multimillion dollar headquarters for the U.S. Naval Forces in S. Korea, but there is little doubt this goes hand in hand with the construction of that massive naval base in Gangjeong Village on Jeju Island.

Busan just happens to be S. Korea’s naval base only a few short miles from Jeju Island. But, with Obama’s “pivot to Asia,” shifting 60% of America’s naval might to the region, the Navy needs their own headquarters to accommodate hundreds or maybe thousands of top brass who will command these hostile actions against China and Russia.

The U.S. will also need housing for 8,000 marines and sailors in Gangjeong Village where Aegis destroyers, nuclear submarines, and massive aircraft carriers will port for supplies and repairs in America’s ever expanding attempts to impose a Pax Americana on the planet.

Oliver Stone Visits Jeju

I will let this article in the Hankyoreh English version newspaper speak about Oliver’s visit to Jeju this past weekend.

http://english.hani.co.kr/arti/english_edition/e_international/598369.html

Oliver Stone joins Jeju residents’ battle against naval base

Posted on : Aug.5,2013 12:00 KST

 

Film director Oliver Stone shakes hands with priests and brothers Moon Jeong-hyun (right) and Moon Kyu-hyun at a concert supporting the opposition to the construction of a naval base in Gangjeong Village, Jeju Island, August 3. (by Ryu Woo-jong, staff photographer)

Acclaimed director is touring Asia in criticism of the US government’s ‘pivot to Asia’ policy

By Huh Ho-joon, Jeju correspondent “Ever since the Second World War, the US has been building military alliances and setting up military bases overseas. A lot of those bases are in Japan and Korea. Jeju Island is less than 500 kilometers from Shanghai. It could end up on the front lines if a military conflict breaks out between the US and China.”

Internationally renowned filmmaker Oliver Stone said this about the naval base currently under construction on Jeju Island. The 67-year-old director, whose works on the Vietnam War include “Platoon” and “Born on the Fourth of July,” met with the Hankyoreh on Aug. 3 at the Peace Center in Gangjeong Village in Jeju.

Noting the US’s overseas military strategy, Stone said the issue with the Jeju base was “global, not regional.”

“The Obama administration has adopted a ‘pivot to Asia’ strategy as a way of containing China,” he said. “It’s similar to the way the Soviet Union was contained during the Cold War. And in its push to do this, Washington has built or is building military alliances not just with South Korea and Japan, but with the Philippines, Taiwan, Malaysia, Singapore, Australia, Cambodia, and Myanmar. It’s a foolish, paranoid strategy.”

In view of this strategy, the Jeju naval base may be a military extension of the US forces, who could eventually end up using it, Stone said.

The director said he came to Jeju after seeing documentaries by US directors on Gangjeong Village and the April 3 Uprising of 1948 and reading articles on the villagers battle against the construction.

“I wanted to see for myself,” he said. He arrived on the island on Aug. 2 for a three-day stay.

As soon as he arrived, he went to visit film critic Yang Yun-mo, who was arrested while campaigning against the base, as well as people involved in the Grand March for Life and Peace, an event organized to call for a halt to the construction. On Aug. 3, he went to see activists opposing the base in their battle against police at the construction site in Gangjeong – a visit that left him looking very troubled.

“They’re calling the people who oppose the base ‘pro-North Korea,’ but that’s a very simplistic expression and their methods are easy to attack,” Stone said. “But the residents and activists are very sincere about their home, their rights, and this beautiful island of Jeju.”

He also spoke on environmental concerns, noting the base was “destroying beautiful soft coral reefs and contaminating the water.”

“I’ve heard that Jeju water was some of the cleanest and best in the world,” he said. “What happens when it ends up getting polluted?”

“The Gangjeong residents and activists aren’t alone in their battle against the base. This is going beyond South Korea and turning into a worldwide issue,” he continued. “I don’t know how this battle is going to go, but the residents’ fight will not be forgotten.”

Following his trip to Jeju, Stone plans to head to the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, where atomic bombs were dropped during the Second World War. There, he plans to attend a conference opposing atomic and hydrogen bombs before traveling on to Okinawa, site of a large US military base.

Manning & Snowden: What Would Nuremburg Have Done?

Bradley Manningshetterly_snowden-1152px

 

 

 

 

 

Nuremburg Principle VI –

“The crimes hereinafter set out are punishable as crimes under international law:

(a) Crimes against peace:

(i) Planning, preparation, initiation or waging of a war of aggression or a war in violation of international treaties, agreements or assurances;

(ii) Participation in a common plan or conspiracy for the accomplishment of any of the acts mentioned under (i).

(b) War crimes:

Violations of the laws or customs of war which include, but are not limited to, murder, ill-treatment or deportation to slave labor or for any other purpose of civilian population of or in occupied territory; murder or ill-treatment of prisoners of war or persons on the Seas, killing of hostages, plunder of public or private property, wanton destruction of cities, towns, or villages, or devastation not justified by military necessity.

(c) Crimes against humanity:

Murder, extermination, enslavement, deportation and other inhumane acts done against any civilian population, or persecutions on political, racial, or religious grounds, when such acts are done or such persecutions are carried on in execution of or in connection with any crime against peace or any war crime.”

Principle VII

Principle VII states, “Complicity in the commission of a crime against peace, a war crime, or a crime against humanity as set forth in Principle VI is a crime under international law.”

The present administration and the United States Military consider Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden as traitors while most of the rest of the world consider their actions as heroic and patriotic.

Both acted out of conscience because they had information about war crimes and violations against international law committed by the United States. It was their duty, according the Nuremberg Principles, to expose those crimes. It was their duty to reveal to the American people what their government had been doing in our name.

Nuremburg Principle VI –

“The crimes hereinafter set out are punishable as crimes under international law:

(a) Crimes against peace:

(i) Planning, preparation, initiation or waging of a war of aggression or a war in violation of international treaties, agreements or assurances;

(ii) Participation in a common plan or conspiracy for the accomplishment of any of the acts mentioned under (i).

(b) War crimes:

Violations of the laws or customs of war which include, but are not limited to, murder, ill-treatment or deportation to slave labor or for any other purpose of civilian population of or in occupied territory; murder or ill-treatment of prisoners of war or persons on the Seas, killing of hostages, plunder of public or private property, wanton destruction of cities, towns, or villages, or devastation not justified by military necessity.

(c) Crimes against humanity:

Murder, extermination, enslavement, deportation and other inhumane acts done against any civilian population, or persecutions on political, racial, or religious grounds, when such acts are done or such persecutions are carried on in execution of or in connection with any crime against peace or any war crime.”

Principle VII

Principle VII states, “Complicity in the commission of a crime against peace, a war crime, or a crime against humanity as set forth in Principle VI is a crime under international law.”

The United States has blatantly ignored international law and widespread international opposition to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, which were based upon lies, and is guilty of the crimes against peace outlined above in part a), and very clearly guilty of murder, ill-treatment (torture – Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib), the wanton destruction of cities, towns, or villages, or devastation not justified by military necessity (Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan).

Principle VII is key in the prosecution and persecution of Manning and Snowden and all whistleblowers because it states very clearly, “complicity in the commission of a crime against peace, a war crime, or a crime against humanity as set forth in Principle VI is a crime under international law.”

Unfortunately, only the defeated are tried and convicted under these principles. Ironically, the United States has lost every war since Korea, yet was never conquered or forced to surrender, yet because there are no challengers to its military dominance, America does not submit to trial or judgment by any international body or nation. Might does not make right!

Manning and Snowden did for America and the world what the corporate-owned media should have been doing all along. Only an informed population can take action to re-direct the course this country has been on. It is quite clear that we are all subjects of a tyrannical government that makes a mockery of the Constitution, tramples on individual freedoms, and wantonly kills millions and millions of innocent civilians, while it destroys the environment and sensitive ecosystems.

America’s war policy is quite clear in the words of General Curtis LeMay ,who commanded the carpet bombing and firebombing of Germany, the firebombing of Japan and subsequently dropping the Atomic bomb, and the carpet bombing and napalming of Korea and Vietnam, “if you kill enough of them, they quit fighting.” LeMay also said, “soldiers are always going to be confronted with the moral aspects of war, but if they let that bother them, they’re not good soldiers.”

In Iraq, the United States killed millions of innocent men, women, and children and completely devastated the entire country. “Shock and Awe.” In Afghanistan and Pakistan, the United States has indiscriminately killed civilians and committed massacres for ten years with unmanned drones and boots on the ground.

It is beyond belief that the president of the United States personally orders the elimination of perceived enemies with his own personal kill list.

Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice et al, as well as Obama, Clinton, Panetta and the rest are the real traitors and war criminals whom Manning and Snowden have revealed to America and the world.

 

Peace For Gangjeong March 2013

Jeju March 2013The indomitable spirit of the people of Gangjeong continues to inspire as they prepare for the 2013 Grand March for Life and Peace around Jeju Island. My film, The Ghosts of Jeju, declares, “the least we can do is to amplify their voices,” for with citizenship in America and the world, comes responsibility.

The people of Gangjeong are not alone in this struggle opposing the U.S. military expansion. All of the islands of the Pacific from Hawaii to Okinawa, to Guam, The Philippines and all the way down to Australia are rising up against American imperialism as the U.S. uses fear and power to coerce their leaders to either build or open up their ports and bases to the American military.

The myth of “national security,” is being foisted on the nations of the Pacific and Southeast Asia to instill fear that China and Russia have evil intentions to dominate the region. The U.S. military has made it perfectly clear their intentions are to encircle China and Russia, to impeded their growth by controlling access to the world’s resources, and to dominate the earth through a so-called Pax Americana. In other words, full-spectrum dominance through the use of unparalleled force on the earth, the seas, in the air and in space.

One must ask: is this really making the earth safer? Joint military exercises in Southeast Asia and the Pacific, encircling Russia and China with anti-ballistic missiles, the use of satellites to control the “battlefield” and for spying, remote controlled drones for indiscriminate killing, pivoting 60% of America’s naval might to Pacific and Southeast Asia can only be seen as provocative, threatening, and the raising of tensions in the region.

I recently did a search on the internet to find out how many times the U.S. had used military interventions in foreign lands. As an American with an undergraduate degree in U.S. History, I was shocked. Since 1798, barely 20 years after the founding of the country, the U.S. has intervened 188 times all over the globe, and that does not include World Wars I and II. The U.S. has even invaded China and Russia. And, in the process the U.S. has murdered millions and millions of innocent people to gain access and control over their resources.

America was not threatened by any of those sovereign nations nor by their indigenous peoples, nor was it America’s intention to spread freedom and democracy around the world. America sent troops to secure American “national interests,” which is manipulated language meaning the interests of the capitalist who needed fruit, rubber, rare earth minerals, and gas and oil to make money.

Since the very beginning of the U.S., white men imposed their beliefs upon a new nation under the myths of freedom and democracy, with liberty and justice for all…..meaning their own kind. The founders were mostly business men and slave owners. Women and slaves were considered property and could not vote. This group of elite, white capitalists believed not only in white supremacy and a patriarchal society,  but believed that “their” America was exceptional and blessed by god. They got most of us believing it.

Imperialism is as old as civilization. Among the empires were the Greeks and Romans, the Ottoman Empire, and the empires of Europe and Asia. It was the Europeans who discovered the Americas in search of gold and riches which they found in abundance to replenish the depletion of resources in their own territories. Blessed by the Catholic Church and their kings and queens, these white explorers murdered millions and millions of indigenous peoples throughout North and South America believing that these peoples were savages, and something less than human beings. Entire cultures were destroyed

These white, European nations even fought wars among themselves in the Americas to stake their claims to the “New World” and its riches. Because they were more powerful and “civilized” they had no regard for those who had inhabited the Americas for thousands of years. Just like women and slaves, these indigenous peoples had no rights and no claim to the land.

Genocide and the extraction of resources has defined the history of the European empires. Their belief that the earth’s resources belong to the stronger, almost always blessed by the Church, are at the core of the American empire and the belief in American exceptionalism.

Resource extraction and control over those resources to fuel the American Way of Life have been the reasons for each an every military intervention of the United States.  Like every previous empire, the American empire and the American Way of Life are in decline. The signs of this decline are everywhere. Governments are corrupt and beholding to the corporations. The labor movement, equal rights, and social uplift programs are being destroyed and weakened. Manufacturing jobs, except for military purposes, have gone where there is cheap labor and few restrictions on the corporations. Our roads, highways, and bridges, as well as the nation’s infrastructure are in disrepair. Education is no longer free, but being controlled by the wealthy and the military industrial complex. Income disparity has grown astronomically. The U.S. is #1 in the world in prison populations. Climate deniers and industry lobbyists have made the search for renewable energy and the creation of good, living-wage jobs impossible.

The elite, white capitalists have addicted the population to sports, entertainment, and the need for more stuff. People are more interested in sports, movie stars, celebrities, and reality TV shows than they are in what is happening to their freedoms. Inundated by advertising, deprived of an education that fosters critical thinking,  duped into believing they need the latest technological gadget, and thirsting for more violence on TV, the movies, and ultimate cage fighting, Americans have been conveniently sedated and distracted.

Long gone is the independent, free media that was our protection against government overstepping its boundaries. Today, all of the mainstream media are owned by a handful of large, multinational corporations. What is fed to the American public as news, is highly refined propaganda that reinforces the lie of the great American Way of Life.

Fear and lies have always worked to control the masses, and the elite, white capitalists are using fear and lies to limit our freedoms and Constitutional rights. During the Cold War it was fear of Commies, Reds, and Russia. Today, in addition to fear of Russian and Chinese Communism,  it is fear of terrorism. It works to perfection. Because of fear, most Americans have willingly given up their rights to privacy and their civil liberties.

Furthermore, the national security and surveillance state which includes the militarized local police, campus security guards, and even game wardens, have violently put down and suppressed peaceful protests. Anyone who opposes the state is a domestic terrorist and can be detained indefinitely without due process guaranteed by the Constitution.

So, why is it that so many Americans cannot penetrate the myths and the lies? It is precisely because the myths of freedom and democracy have been ingrained in the population, not by chance, but by design. American capitalism is the evil in the world today, subjugating the people of America and the world to their imperial designs. It is because the majority of Americans do not believe they have power to do anything about it. It is because the 1% has systematically divided the population over scores of issues. There are so many issues facing this country now, so many ominous warning signs that most cannot get their minds around them all. Most Americans are just trying to survive on a day to day basis and do not have the time or the energy to become informed, much less get involved in an active way.

U.S. History as it has been taught, patriotism, the flag, parades and patriotic march music, the stories of American heroes from George Washington, Davie Crocket, to Eisenhower and Patton have cemented the myth of American greatness while conveniently sanitizing the evil motives and the unrestrained and immoral violence and killing that have characterized U.S. intervention in the world.

This system, The American Way of Life is unsustainable because it recklessly depletes the planets resources. The system, based on consumption, itself is destroying the planet. In order to grow and maintain the economy and the American Way of Life, people need to consume more and more and that cannot happen without the suicidal dependance on oil, which in turn is threatening all life on the planet. Most Americans simply cannot conceive of any other way.

The people of Gangjeong know that LIFE and JUSTICE are at stake in the world.  They know the struggle isn’t just against American militarism, war, and capitalism, but the struggle for survival. And that is why this year they march again for Life and Justice. For without Justice, there is no freedom, there is no peace, and life as we know it is not sustainable on this planet.

With citizenship on the planet comes the responsibility to join in this struggle for Life and Justice. The people of Gangjeong and Jeju Island cannot be left to fight this battle alone.

Irish Parlimentarian Clare Daly Calls out Obama and Irish Parliment

This is absolutely amazing, wonderful, and a blunt telling it like it is. She called Obama what he is, “a war criminal,” and she called out the Irish Parliament for showering him with praise as if he were one of their own.

My goodness, if only others around the world in their own parliaments would speak truth to power!

This is a must watch video for all who fight for peace, justice, and truth!