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:

8 thoughts on “Mainers Speak Out Against Bombing Syria”

  1. Although I do find it horrible that anyone these days needs to revert to chemical weapons (now outlawed by most nations that we deal with) I also find it equally horrible that our own U.S. Government requires our soldiers to fight in a foreign land defending the interests of corporations with minimal ties to this country as they perform offshore. Actually any corporation’s interests. Our military was and still remains for the purpose of defending our citizens here at home. To defend corporate interests is a misuse of our young men and women. Some of these corporations probably produce these toxins used in the weapons. They do the same here at home, but call it an accidental spill or mishap. Why are we not using our military to defend us against these corporations and their actions at home? Only to remove such chemical weapons should we interact, without bombing.

  2. Very well done video and and an absolutely excellent response to Bill Nemitz’s column. I appreciate all you do. I am actively involved in the stop the east west corridor coalition and that is actually how I found this video. Thank you so much. Carol Gorecki, Orneville, Maine

  3. Very much on target, Regis! it is long overdue that we call out the defenders of imperialism in the media. Let’s do this more often, letting them know we aren’t buying their story, OR the newspapers that continue to peddle political drivel masquerading as news and commentary! And they wonder why the circulation of newspapers is dropping like a skyscraper building in free fall. Jon

  4. Give me an F. The old Fish Cheer goes like this ” Come On All you fine young men put down your books and pick up a gun. Uncle Sam needs your help again. This time it’s Syrian. I can still recall the day when 100,000 protesters listened to speakers against the war. That time it was Vietnam. As a young man I was not yet sure what the issues were. I was just tired of having my friends come home in a box. Abby Hoffman stood before us and went into one of his rants. Looking up at the old John Hancock building in Boston Abby ranted “look it is right there in front of you”. The insurance companies are highly invested in the military industrial complex. It is the insurance companies that are keeping this war and all the other wars going. After ranting on for a good long time about the complexities of no longer will the white men send black men to kill yellow men to save democracy in this country that they stole from the red man. Then he pointed up to the weather needle on top of the Hancock and said look they are laughing at you. They have put a big sign right in front of your nose. Look again and you will see it more clearly that weather vain with the tower on top of it is exactly what it looks like. Paraphrasing Abby “On top of that building is a gigantic hypodermic needle and they are sticking it to us. Soon Abby was being harassed by the FBI and never regained the momentum of his younger movement. We herd from him off and on over the years. Then just before Desert Storm when Abby was again protesting the reemergence of the Military Industrial Complex. Abby was protesting the end of twenty-five years without a major conflict because the hippies had stopped the war. He was saying things like the Bush family wanted to lead us into more wars. Then days before the bombing was started Abby was found dead. The second George Bush dared to say that we are now in the perpetual war. Stop the madness Stop the WAR.

  5. Powerful and right on, Regis–both your coverage of the Portland gathering and your response to Bill Nemitz at the Portland Press Herald. Thank you for all you are doing to make people aware of the reality–truth– of what has happened and is happening in the world as a result of US aggression and greed.

  6. Today, September 1, the Morning Sentinel ran a story about a community garden in Palermo, Maine being destroyed by the Palermo American Legion. The operators of the garden have been feeding over 30 local familiesfor free with the produce of the garden. The American Legion claims it needs the space to expand their parking lot. What with increasing wars, naturally the legion must expand. The garden operators have a lease from the previous owner and the Belfast court upheld the validity of the lease. The American Legion (read military) continue to displace people, even in their own country. Someone ought to tell the military, they’re not in Iraq or Afghanistan any more. One thin I did notice, the local corporate controlled TV stations, Ch 2 and Ch 5 failed to report this news of great import. Could it be they are intimidated or worse, paid off, by the military-industrial complex. Pete Sirois, Madison ME

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