S Brian Willson Portal at The Alliance: http://www.ThePortlandAlliance.org/sbrianwillson
S Brian Willson
Post-WWII Cold War: First Stop, Korea, A Tragedy Still Unresolved
75 Years ago, August 11, 1945, Truman unilaterally divided historically homogenous Korea, which would never have peace again
Korea is where the Cold War first arrived. At the conclusion of World War II, the Soviet Union and the United States jointly occupied previously undivided Korea in order to expel the defeated Japanese, who had effectively ruled the entire peninsula since 1905. On August 11, 1945, two days after dropping the Plutonium Bomb on Nagasaki, and three days prior to Japan’s formal surrender, Truman unilaterally created a temporary demarcation line separating the Russian and US forces approximately along the 38th parallel. This line was not intended to create two separate countries but merely to be a temporary division as they awaited unifying elections. A Korean war was inconceivable before Truman’s arbitrary decision to divide Korea, made from the comfort of his air-conditioned White House in Washington, DC. But because of that division, the Korean Peninsula has not been at peace since; seventy years later, millions of families are still divided by the fortified, fenced demilitarized zone (DMZ).
With the Japanese surrender, the people of Korea were confident they would now be able to build their own society, resuming control over their sovereignty. The Korean people could not have imagined that they were about to become victims of an even more tragic and cruel injustice, this time inflicted upon them by a Western nation, the United States of America, rather than by one of their historic Asian nemeses.
On August 15, 1945, the day after the Japanese surrender, the Korean people, the majority seriously impoverished, openly celebrated their liberation after 40 years of miserable Japanese occupation. Ironically, on the same day and unbeknown to most Koreans, the US proclaimed establishment of “legal” occupational control over the south, though US troops wouldn’t land until September 8. Confident of their ability to regain control of their own country, Koreans had immediately formed the Committee for the Preparation of Korean Independence (CKPI). By August 28, all Korean provinces on the entire peninsula
had established local peoples’ democratic committees. On September 6, delegates from throughout Korea, both north and south of the demarcation line, despite the new US occupation orders, gathered in Seoul to create the Korean People’s Republic (KPR). Two days later, Koreans were shocked to face masses of incoming US troops. Coincidentally, the Koreans’ announcement of their unified independence came only four days after Ho Chi Minh’s declaration of a unified independence for all of Viet Nam.
Photo: Ex-FBI agent Jack Ryan and myself hold banner, "US Out of Korea", August 8, 2001, in front of the Yongsan US Army base in Seoul, Korea
Veteran Suicides: MORAL INJURY to the SOUL, including the collective soul of the United States
In Viet Nam I was staggered at how terribly dumbed-down I was as I turned 28. Because of historical ignorance, even worse, stupidity, I had thoughtlessly become part of a brutal killing machine that was murdering countless innocents, though I never pulled a trigger or dropped a bomb. This has caused me serious moral and soul injuries, a dis-ease much deeper and very different from and, I believe, more uncomfortable than anxiety. This may explain the high suicide rate among veterans who have experienced serious, deep cognitive dissonance that challenges the essence of the right and wrong innately known by the soul. And, it explains the suicidal ideational thoughts that came in and out of my head while experiencing the Fellini movie–like experience called Viet Nam. I still have them, more than 50 years later.
Three-tour Afghanistan veteran (Oct 2001, 2002, 2003) Jacob George clearly described how basic training itself weaponizes the soul. Military training is intentionally designed to dehumanize the enemy. This invariably leads to the dehumanization of ONESELF, which causes deep moral injury. The banjo-playing George, who clearly understood his own PTSD and moral injuries, was provoked to new angst when on September 10, 2014, he heard that President Obama had ordered a new war against Syria and ISIS. One week later, at age 32, George committed suicide in his Arkansas home. Fortunately, he left a beautiful legacy: a 2012 songbook with text, Soldier’s Heart, which reveals such profound wisdom about moral injury and PTSD that it behooves a serious read (and listen) for anyone interested in treating and/or healing from these injuries.
Jacob George, Soldier's Heart, http://www.jacobdavidgeorge.org/soldiers-heart
Now I'm just a farmer from Arkansas,
There's a lot of things I don't understand
Like why we send farmers to kill farmers
Now I did what I's told for my love of this land
I come home a shattered man
With blood on my hands
And now I can't have a relationship, I can't hold down a job
Some may say I'm broken, I call it soldier's heart
Because every time I go outside, I gotta look her in the eyes
Knowin' that she broke my heart, and turned around and lied
Oh I said, red, white, and blue,
I trusted in you
And you never even told me why
Now it was the summer of 2002,
I just got off the Pakistan border
To get out of the heat
And my sergeant handed me some orders
And told me to read
Well it called for the mobilization of 500, 000
Soldiers, sailors, and Marines
For impending invasion of Iraq
The coming spring
Well I got home a couple months later
And I heard the drums, I heard the drums of war
And they had y'all dancin' all around
And askin' for more
Well this soldier's heart couldn't take
I said this soldier's heart couldn't take it anymore
Now I can't have a relationship, I can't hold down a job
Well some may say I'm broken, I call it soldier's heart
Because every time I go outside, I gotta look her in the eyes
Knowin' that she broke my heart, and turned around and lied
I said, red, white, and blue, I trusted in you
And you never even told me why
I said, every time I go outside I gotta look her in the eyes
Knowin' that she broke my heart and turned around and lied
Oh I said, red, white, and blue, I trusted in you
And you never even told me why
TULSA, Oklahoma, Massacre of Blacks by Whites, May 31 - June 1, 1921
Oklahoma, May 31 – June 1, 1921. Tulsa, Oklahoma was the scene of the second known use of U.S. planes to intentionally bomb civilians. [The first known use of airplanes (Italian) to bomb civilians is believed to have occurred when Italy bombed Tripoli in 1911.]
From May 31-June 1, 1921, angry Whites organized and launched a ruthless campaign against the thriving Black Greenwood neighborhood (nicknamed Black Wall Street) in the emerging U.S. oil capital, Tulsa, Oklahoma. According to survivors, the Oklahoma National Guard used airplanes to fire bomb the Greenwood section of Tulsa in a massacre of Blacks. This was never openly acknowledged by officials. Survivors and witnesses to the massacre kept this atrocity to themselves until word leaked out in the 1980s, over sixty years later. Whites had been silent from shame, the Blacks from fear. Accounts now suggest that "more than 300 blacks were killed and 10,000 left homeless (the entire population of Greenwood) after a mob of white deputies and Oklahoma National Guardsmen descended on the all-black Greenwood section of Tulsa, burning everything in sight." Tulsa officials deputized men who burned Greenwood with the "help of uniformed police." There is no authoritative data on how many Blacks were murdered these two days,
According to a number of Black witnesses, including at least four first-hand written accounts, about a dozen airplanes, apparently from the National Guard, and perhaps one plane owned by Sinclair Oil, "rained fire" from the air, while strafing with rifles, and firebombing with incendiary devices, including turpentine balls. The White terrorists destroyed 1,256 houses and other buildings, including churches, stores, businesses, newspaper offices, a school, a hospital, and a library, in a thirty-six square-block area of the prosperous Black section of Greenwood in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
“Removal at gunpoint from their homes throughout the day, the African Americans were lined up on the street, their hands raised above their heads, and slowly marched out of the district. Others were taken in trucks and cars…With the city jail full, the blacks were detained at the Convention Hall, a few blocks beyond Greenwood’s western boundary…Guards shot at the heels of those who couldn’t keep pace…By Thursday, June 2, 6,000 blacks had been rounded up at the fairgrounds, about one mile northeast of Greenwood, where platforms used to groom cows were transformed into sleeping floors.
Many members of the recently formed (1919) national service organization of WWI veterans – the American Legion – were involved in their military uniforms with their weapons, taking credit for having "saved the damn city from militant blacks" .
US REGIME CHANGE Efforts Continue in Nicaragua – Incredible Fake News, May 28, 2020 (via Nan McCurdy)
The Regime Change attempt has never stopped since early 2018, or earlier. It peaked from April to July 2018, and since April 2020 there has been another peak. Vice President Rosario Murillo denounced this coup attempt on April 28th 2020. We know from reading US cables, and other news sources and government reports, that since 2010 the US has been funding "regime change" with hundreds of millions of dollars given to collaborators in Nicaragua, assisted by the CIA and NED, and the lapdog corporate media.
A regime change attempt does not start with people on the streets but with discrediting and smearing the government, the police, the army and or the Health Ministry in this case. Currently every opposition media outlet and member, the Costa Rican government and media, international organizations such as the CIDH (OAS) and the EU, and of course the US and its corporate media, are working together 24/7 to besmirch Nicaragua's incredible example in fighting this pandemic. The immediate objective of the US is to create the narrative internationally that Nicaragua is invaded by the virus and that this is the fault of the government. The CIDH yesterday said that Nicaragua is hiding cases. They only listen to the opposition and have not even been present in the country this year.
The local media (Confidencial, La Prensa, Onda Local, Radio Corporacion, Channel 10, 100% Noticias, Channel 12, etc) are trying to create a scenario or idea that the hospitals are overflowing. They fabricate fake news by saying that their journalists have Covid and went to a hospital and the hospital didn't have a bed for them. In reality the hospitals and the ICUs have beds and are far from overflowing. They want to sell the idea internationally that the health system has collapsed and if you read what the CIDH wrote or what other international media write, that will be your understanding. They keep putting out fake announcements of people dying and then the families have to come out and deny the fake news.
Another example of the sensationalism they are creating is the death of a well known Radio Corporation reporter who died, supposedly, with Covid-19. The opposition media filmed his funeral. In the video you can hear someone (the idea is that it is the wife) saying that his death is Daniel Ortega's fault. This gets played over and over on all the opposition media and on facebook. That is the narrative - every death is a Covid-19 death and all deaths are the fault of Daniel and Rosario. And, in fact, now the narrative includes that all deaths in Costa Rica are the fault of Daniel and Rosario. It is absurd and cruel.
Because of all the US-led and funded opposition here, in Costa Rica and the US, Nicaragua is held to a higher standard than other nations in relation to Covid. This is psychological warfare on a massive scale. The objective is to say that this government can't govern, by blaming all deaths on the FSLN, claiming our health system is collapsing, claiming we are hiding cases and deaths of Covid by setting up these fake "health consortiums" like the one that Dora Maria Tellez heads up.
Also, just like we witnessed in the 2018 coup attempt, false flag attacks are back. About a month ago, deputy Wilfredo Navarro accused channel 10 of hiring trucks to drive near cemeteries at night with empty coffins in the truck beds, while opposition actors played "MINSA health workers" as others filmed. Keep in mind this was done while we only had very few imported cases and no more than 4 deaths- trying to prepare the narrative that the government was hiding cases and deaths. MINSA is the very professional national Ministry of health.
Currently there are some people being buried at night in what we call "express burials" but this is not being hidden, MINSA talks about it openly, as this is one of the WHO's guidelines being followed all over the WORLD. MINSA gives the family of people who died from or with Covid (as well as anyone who dies of pneumonia for any reason, just in case it might have been Covid) the option to cremate, in which case they can do their service whenever; or they can bury their loved one. If they want to bury them, it needs to be done right away. So if someone dies between 6pm and 3am, they are going to be buried at night. In the US they don't ever give the bodies to the family with the option of burial.
As of Tuesday there had been 35 probable Covid deaths, and among them some pretty well-known older folks with at least two pre-existing conditions. Thus, it was easy for the opposition to make a big deal of the deaths, really amplifying them to the point that you would think there had already been 200 deaths! As we know from world data, the numbers increase once it is in the community - doubling of numbers every three days until the peak. Predictably, by next Tuesday, June 2, Nicaragua may have about 3,200 cases, although lighter cases may not go to or call MINSA and not get counted, as is the case globally.
Many people have fallen for the fake news and the sensationalism. Despite all the education and prevention done by the government, there is a percentage of people who really believe all of this and they are TERRIFIED. The opposition has many of them thinking that if they get COVID they will die. With all the psychological warfare they have forgotten that 85% of those who get COVID will not be sick at all, or have a light or medium case of it.
The opposition and their journalists are clearly requesting US intervention in the framework of the United Nations with the blue helmets. Very anti-Sandinista AP 'journalist' Gabriela Selser is so urging. She lives in Managua but remains secluded in her home according to neighbors.
Photo at right... I am getting my blood pressure checked by a local doctor.
About this website
US has become what we used to call a "Third World Country"
"It is like a third world country," Stiglitz said in an interview with The Guardian, pointing to the number of people in the U.S. who have been forced to rely on food banks to survive amid the ongoing coronavirus outbreak. Stiglitz, a professor at Columbia University, said America's existing inequities and fragmented social safety net made it far more difficult for the nation to respond quickly and effectively to the coronavirus outbreak....This disease has targeted those with the poorest health. In the advanced world, the U.S. is one of the countries with the poorest health overall and the greatest health inequality... "
"We met Brian Willson, a Vietnam vet, in Granada with his Nicaraguan wife and took him out to eat a few times.
You may remember the headlines on Sept 1 1987 when was part of a non violent demonstration outside of Concord Naval Weapons Station blocking a train from sending weapons to Central America.
The train didn’t stop that time like before and instead sped up, cutting off both his legs.
Here’s the first part of a three part NPR interview: https://youtu.be/tPGcViL2svY
Brian has an indomitable spirit, continuing to work for peace, riding his hand cycle with other vets on both coasts.
More about his thoughts on his website here: http://www.brianwillson.com/ and buy his book
“Blood on the Tracks”.
Here is the second part of an NPR interview that goes more into his experience in Vietnam.
Here is a more personal interview about his hand cycle and book tour:
background on Morrison's self-immolation:
FM: Peter Phillips, Professor, Sanoma State Univ, April 28, 2019
The following are the top three Weapons Producers in the world and the Investment Management Giants that invested in them in 2017.
LOCKHEED MARTIN Corporation: State Street ($15.2 billion), Capital Group ($12.17 billion), Vanguard Group ($6.5 billion), BlackRock ($6.1 billion), Bank of America ($3.1 billion), UBS ($902 million), Bank of NY Mellon ($733 million), Fidelity Investments (FMR) ($721 million), Morgan Stanley & Co. ($703 million), Goldman Sachs Group ($474 million), Prudential Financial ($449 million), Credit Suisse ($149 million), Allianz SE (PIMCO) ($82 million), JPMorgan Chase ($55 million), Amundi/Crédit Agricole ($54 million), Barclays plc ($50 million)
[16 major investors = $47.44 Billion total]
NORTHROP GRUMMAN Corporation: State Street ($5.9 billion), Vanguard Group ($4 billion), BlackRock ($4 billion), Fidelity Investments (FMR) ($2.4 billion), Capital Group ($1.8 billion), JPMorgan Chase ($1.5 billion), Bank of America ($666 million), Goldman Sachs Group ($488 million), Bank of NY Mellon ($410 million), UBS ($248 million), Morgan Stanley & Co. ($211 million), Prudential Financial ($200 million), Allianz SE (PIMCO) ($176 million), Credit Suisse ($67 million), AXA Group ($55 million), Amundi/Crédit Agricole ($51 million), Barclays plc ($44 million)
[17 major investors = $22.035 Billion]
BOEING Company: Capital Group ($12.8 billion), Vanguard Group ($11.9 billion), BlackRock ($10.3 billion), State Street ($8 billion), Fidelity Investments (FMR) ($1.9 billion), Bank of NY Mellon ($1.6 billion), Morgan Stanley & Co. ($1.5 billion), Goldman Sachs Group ($1.2 billion), Bank of America ($1.01 billion), UBS ($729 million), JPMorgan Chase ($711 million), Prudential Financial ($440 million), Allianz SE (PIMCO) ($337 million), Credit Suisse ($273 million), Barclays plc ($245 million), Amundi/Crédit Agricole ($195 million), AXA Group ($119 million)
[17 major investors = $53.26 Billion]
Investment Management Companies in Major Arms Makers 
Bank of America
Bank of New York Mellon
Morgan Stanley & Co.
Goldman Sachs Group
Allianz SE (PIMCO)
JP Morgan Chase
Press Statement posted by: firstname.lastname@example.org,
For immediate release 18 March, 2019, Two US Veterans For Peace Refused Bail at Ennis District Court, Monday 18 March, Charged with Trespass and Causing Criminal Damage at SHANNON airport
A group of seven US Veterans for Peace took part in a protest against a US Military Base at Shannon International Airport, near Limerick in Western Ireland, on Sunday March 17th. WHY? Shannon used for refueling troop planes bound for Middle East wars in which up to one million [1,000,000] children have died since 1991. Ireland claims to be a neutral country.
Two US veterans were arrested at Shannon Airport on 17 March for entering the airfield to inspect and investigate an OMNI Air International plane on contract to the U.S. military. The two, Tarak Kauff and Ken Mayers, were refused bail at Ennis District Court today.
The plane, tail number N351AX, arrived at Shannon Airport about 8.30 am from Eielson US air force base in Faribanks Alaska, believed to be on its way to the Middle East with up to 300 armed US troops.
At about 10 am Mayers, a former Marine Corps Major and Kauff, a former Army paratrooper, both members of US Veterans For Peace, entered the airfield carrying a large banner that said:
*U.S. Veterans say Respect Irish Neutrality
*U.S. War Machine out of Shannon Airport
*Veterans For Peace
The two walked across the air field with the intent of inspecting the plane for weapons or munitions, but were apprehended by airport security and Gardai. There were detained and interviewed at Shannon Garda station and held overnight for arraignment on charges of trespass and criminal damage.
At Ennis District Court this morning Mayers and Kauff were represented by solicitor Darragh Hassett. The prosecution outlined the charges against them and indicated that they were opposed to bail. Garda Sergeant Noel Carroll gave evidence of arrest on Taxiway 12 at Shannon airport. He also stated that there was a US military aircraft at the airport, most likely referring to OMNI Air N351AX. He also confirmed that the defendants were both veterans of the US military. The prosecutor, Inspector Thomas Kennedy, said there had been substantial damage to the airport perimeter fence.
When the bail issue was being discussed Solicitor Hassett initially stated that the defendants were prepared to agree to bail conditions that involved surrendering their passports, and remaining in Ireland for the duration of the legal processes. This was an unacceptable condition as it would mean that the defendants would have to remain in Ireland at their own expense for up to two years before the trial would occur, and this restriction amounts to punishment without trial. The defendants then requested an adjournment to discuss matters with their solicitor.
After the court resumed, Hassett emphasized that the defendants needed to return home to the USA and would sign a sworn undertaking to return for trial. The prosecution opposed this and continued to oppose the granting of any bail. Judge Maire Keane then ruled that she was denying bail to the accused and remanded them in custody to Limerick Prison, where they are to appear for a further court mention hearing by video from the prison on Wednesday 20 March.
Further discussions were then held with Solicitor Hassett. He raised the option of appealing the bail refusal to the High Court in Dublin and he was told to lodge such an appeal. He indicated that it would likely be Thursday 28 March before this High Court appeal would be heard.
Ed Horgan, coordinator of Irish VETERANS FOR PEACE, said, “This process is a clear attempt to punish the two VFP activists before any trial takes place. We are calling on all peace and human rights activists in Ireland and internationally to campaign not only on behalf of Ken Mayers and Tarak Kauff, but, more important, on behalf of all the innocent people being killed and injured by US illegal wars.”
Major Ken Mayers served 12 years in the US Marine Corps. He is a former National Board member of Veterans For Peace and participate in veterans peace team delegations to Palestine, Okinawa, Jeju Island, South Korea, and Standing Rock.
Tarak Kauff was a paratrooper in the US Army during the early sixties. He was a member of the VFP National Board of Directors for six years. He has organized veterans delegations to Palestine, Okinawa, South Korea and Standing Rock. He is currently the managing editor of Peace In Our Times, VFP’s quarterly 24-page newspaper.
Ellen Davidson Veterans For Peace USA, Phone +353863539911. USA: 845-297-8076; Ellen.email@example.com
Edward Horgan, Veterans For Peace Ireland, Phone +353858519623, firstname.lastname@example.org
Years after my experience in Vietnam, where I witnessed the immediate aftermath of intentional, low-flight bombings of inhabited fishing villages, I again personally witnessed the cruel and nearly incomprehensible U.S. wars against the restive but humble barefoot and shirtless peoples of Central America in the 1980s. I was in disbelief, literally feeling sick to my stomach. What could possibly motivate individuals, under orders from and paid for by our government in Washington, to commit such unspeakable barbaric acts day after day. We sensed some kind of awful karma leading toward a very horrible future for us U.S. Americans.
I have often thought that Swiss psychologist Carl Jung’s concept of the “projection of shadow” has been operating at the national level in the United States, as well as at the personal level of most of us living in the U.S
See the rest of this incredible story ..http://www.brianwillson.com/the-shadow/
US President Donald Trump’s top foreign policy advisor John Bolton appears dead set on resuming his decades-long stand-off with Nicaragua President Daniel Ortega, hinting that Washington-backed regime change may be in the offing.
People in Nicaragua are freer than they have ever been. Bolton claims three "farmers" received 550 years in prison, but the maximum sentence in Nicaragua for any crime is 30 years. In this case the three farmers murdered in cold blood four policeman along with a secondary school teacher. The evidence was documented on their own cellphones,
Virtually everything the US political leaders and much of the corporate and social media claims about Venezuela and Nicaragua is lies: propaganda supporting the US narrative for regime change. We did the same in Viet Nam for nearly 30 years. We did the same in Korea. A criminal nation bar none.
LIFE UNDER SOMOZA DICTATORSHIP VS LIFE UNDER SANDINISMO
- a 70 year old campesino's testimony
My name is Emerita. I was born Sept. 22, 1948 in the community Marlon Alvarado, near the town of Santa Teresa, Carazo, Nicaragua.
My childhood was very sad. I grew up in the period in which Nicaragua was governed by the Somoza family. I was raised in extreme poverty, the same as all the poor people of that time here in Nicaragua. I am the second of ten children. I had no time to play because here we had no water, and we had to go fill buckets five kilometers away. We had no electricity either, so we used a bottle with a rag soaked in diesel for a light. The roads were just trails where the horses could drown in the mudholes in the rainy season, and we all went barefoot. Our houses had straw or grass roofs, and the walls were sticks or sorghum stalks. There wasn't any school, so we were all illiterate. Later a school was provided but only to third grade, so I learned to read and write. At age twelve I had to go work in the city to help my parents to raise my younger brothers and sisters. I worked as a maid, and in those days, there were no laws to protect us. We had no day off, nor vacation time, nor extra pay at Christmas; we were like slaves. That's how I grew up, and when I was nineteen, my father died, so I continued working to support my younger siblings.
It wasn't until July 19, 1979 with triumph of the Popular Sandinista Revolution that we poor people saw a change in our lives. It was like waking up. It wasn't until then that we had any rights, for example a right to land. Through the agrarian reform we were given an area of land to plant. That land had always belonged to a rich landowner, where we were the badly paid laborers. Now thanks to the Revolution we could work this land for our own benefit, which has helped a lot to change how we live. Now we have good roads all year round, electricity, & easy access to water. As for food, we people in the countryside produce our own food & we can survive.
After the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN) lost the elections in 1990, because people were tired of so much war, scarcity of necessary items, and the loss of our loved ones, and with the propaganda that if Doña Violeta won, the war would be over, the neoliberals returned to power. With Violeta Chamorro, Arnoldo Aleman and Enrique Bolanos, we regressed. They wanted to take away the [constitutionally mandated] 6% of the budget that is for university education, including scholarships for people who can't afford it. Young people protested to claim their right, and some were killed and wounded. The roads weren't maintained so they became unpassable again. The famous "blackouts" were extended times when there was scarcely electricity six of every 24 hours. In the hospitals and health centers there were no medicines. In the schools, we had to pay for tests, and many extras. Everything slid backwards and people got tired of it.
In 2007 Daniel Ortega returned to power through the elections which the FSLN won, & a new period began in which the government works with all the sectors: the private businesses, the farmers, the medium & small-sized businesses, the unions, etc. and there began to be many benefits for the people such as the "bono productivo" [production package of the Zero Hunger Program] which is given to poor people with land in the countryside. This consists of a pregnant cow, a pig, ten hens, two rolls of barbed wire, 2 bags of cement, 8 sheets of zinc roofing, etc. I am one of many who received this bono. Another bono is when 10 sheets of zinc roofing and 2 lbs of nails are given to families whose roof is in bad shape. Other bonos are the school lunch program, free health care, a backpack and notebooks to start the school year, and the bono for those graduating from high school, housing for needy people, scholarships for university students both inside and outside the country.
Thanks to all this, all young people can study. In my family, all the young people are professionals. For example, my brother Antonio Vega, is a farmer. He has 4 children who have graduated from the university: one civil engineer, two doctors, and one psychologist. This would have been impossible if it weren't for the 6% law which provides room and board as well as tuition for students from families who can't afford it. And that is thanks to this Revolution and the FSLN under the direction of President Daniel Ortega that all this is possible.
That is why the opposition parties know that through elections they won't return to power, since the majority of the people are content with this government. And that's why they have had to use tricks, lies, and false statements to destabilize the country, taking advantage of the internet to wage a media war, but they can't fool us because we can see what is really happening here, but they may be able to fool the people in other countries.
November 21, 2012
(Slightly edited version of essay originally published November 2005)
As we again plan to celebrate what US “Americans” call Thanksgiving, let us pause for a moment of reflection. Let us recognize that accounts of the first Thanksgiving are mythological, and that the holiday is actually a grotesque celebration of our arrogant ethnocentrism built on genocide.
Native Americans in the Caribbean greeted their 1492 European invaders with warm hospitality. They were so innocent that Genoan Cristoforo Colombo wrote in his log, “They willingly traded everything they owned . . . They do not bear arms . . . They would make fine servants . . . They could easily be made Christians . . . With fifty men we could subjugate them all and make them do whatever we want.” This meeting set in motion a 500+-year plunder of the Western Hemisphere, which then spread to the remainder of the globe. And it has not stopped!
Historian Hans Köning concludes that what sets the West apart is its persistence, its capacity to stop at nothing. Cultural historian Lewis Mumford declared, “Wherever Western man went, slavery, land robbery, lawlessness, culture-wrecking, and the outright extermination of both wild beasts and tame men went with him.”
Jump 129 years to 1621, year of the supposed “first Thanksgiving.” There is not much documentation of that event, apparently a three-day feast, but surviving Indians do not trust the myth. Natives were already dying like flies thanks to European-borne diseases. The Pequot tribe in today’s Connecticut reportedly numbered 8,000 when the Pilgrims arrived, but disease had reduced their population to 1,500 by 1637, when the first, officially proclaimed, all-Pilgrim “Thanksgiving” took place. At that feast, the whites of New England celebrated their massacre of the Pequots in the Connecticut Valley where the Mystic River meets the sea. The Indians were in fact celebrating their annual green corn dance ceremony. But it was to be their last.
William Bradford, the former Governor of Plymouth and one of the chroniclers of the 1621 feast, was on hand for the unspeakable massacre of 1637. He described it thus in his History of the Plymouth Plantation (@1647): “Those that escaped the fire were slain with the sword; some hewed to pieces, others run through with their rapiers, so that they were quickly dispatched and very few escaped. It was a fearful sight to see them thus frying in the fire…horrible was the stink and scent thereof, but the victory seemed a sweet sacrifice, and they gave praise thereof to God, who had wrought so wonderfully for them, thus to enclose their enemies in their hands, and give them so speedy a victory.”
The rest of the white folks thought so, too. “This day forth shall be a day of celebration and thanksgiving for subduing the Pequots,” read Massachusetts Bay Governor John Winthrop’s proclamation. The authentic proclaimed Thanksgiving Day was born. Few Pequots survived.
Most historians believe about 700 Pequots were slaughtered at Mystic. Many prisoners were executed, and surviving women and children sold into slavery in the West Indies. Pequot prisoners that escaped execution were parceled out to Indian tribes allied with the English. The Pequot were thought to have been extinguished as a people.
But, the epitaph was premature. Enough survived such that today the Pequots own the Foxwood Casino and Hotel in Ledyard, Connecticut, larger in size than the Pentagon, with gaming revenues in the billions.
Moving 158 years further, we discover a ruthless campaign conducted in central New York in 1779 during our “noble” Revolutionary War. The Continental Congress was furious that a majority of the Iroquois Indians (those who coined the Seventh Generation philosophy) were siding with the British against the colonialists who were rapidly settling their lands. The booming capital town of the Seneca Nation was Kanadesaga at the head of Seneca Lake in the Finger Lakes region. In the summer of 1779, the Continental Congress instructed its Army’s commanding general to take care of the Indian problem. George Washington complied. He ordered General John Sullivan “to lay waste . . . that the country . . . be . . . destroyed,” instilling “terror” among the Iroquois Indians in central New York; General Sullivan affirmed that “the Indians shall see that there is malice enough in our hearts to destroy everything that contributes to their support.” Washington declared, “Our future security will be in their inability to injure us…and in the terror with which the severity of the chastizement they receive will inspire them” [Richard Drinnon, Facing West: The Metaphysics of Indian Hating & Empire Building (New York: Schocken Books, 1990), pp. 331-32].
The culminating day of “victory” was September 7, 1779. Total destruction of Kanadesaga and the forty other Seneca towns was accomplished by 4,500 troops, nearly one-third of the entire force of the Continental Army. The only major military campaign of that year, it was one of the most vicious scorched-earth campaigns in history. All orchards and food crops were destroyed, all buildings were looted, then burned. Many of the escaping Senecas were scalped and butchered. “After the battle . . . Indian warriors . . . were scalped; Lieutenant William Barton amused himself by skinning two Indians from the hips down to make two pairs of leggings, one pair for himself, the other a present for his major” [Morris Bishop, "The End of the Iroquois," American Heritage, October 1969, p. 78].
Jump 162 years to 1941, when I was born in Kanadesaga, renamed Geneva by our European ancestors. As a young boy I blissfully collected hundreds of Seneca arrowheads, storing them in a special protected box in my bedroom. A chapter in my seventh grade history textbook taught that, “The Iroquois were the Indian Masters of the State,” but due to their “destructive attacks on the frontier settlements, George Washington decided to send an army to crush the Indians . . . The Six Nations never recovered from this blow.” Europeans onward and upward!
The New Republic was formed in 1789, its 1787 Constitutional Convention having been conducted in enforced secrecy, never submitted to a popular vote. The third U.S. President, Thomas Jefferson (1801-1809) described his vision of an “empire of liberty,” with expanded commercial enterprises and territory. And without any Constitutional authority he quickly doubled the area of the young country by acquiring vast Louisiana from France’s Napoleon for $15 million.
In 1807 he advocated preventive war: “If the English do not give us the satisfaction we demand, we will take Canada, which wants to enter the Union; and when, together with Canada, we shall have the Floridas, we shall no longer have any difficulties with our neighbors; and it is the only way of preventing them” (emphasis mine) [William Appleman Williams, The Contours of American History (Cleveland: The World Publishing Company, 1961), p. 192]. Others openly talked of expansion into Spanish America and Canada for planter and merchant prosperity in new markets, saying that the patriotic and virtuous “wise framers” of the Constitution had “too much wisdom to restrict Congress to defensive war”[Ibid., p. 194].
After moving to Humboldt County in northern California, I carefully examined its history as well. The 1849 gold rush brought a large influx of white miners and settlers to California, leading to near virtual wipeout of California Indians by 1865-70. Between 1853 and 1861 there were at least fourteen wars waged against the Indians of California, with paramilitary campaigns continuing into the late 1860s. The population, once thought to have been as high as 700,000, was estimated to be 100,000 in 1849 partly due to grueling enslavement in the Catholic Missions starting in 1769. From 1849 to 1860 the population decreased by 65 percent to 35,000, due to systematic killings [Russell Thorton, American Indian Holocaust and Survival: A Population History Since 1492 (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1987), p. 109]; a detailed list of atrocities committed against Indians in California, including many in what is now Humboldt County, can be found in Sherburne F. Cook’s The Conflict Between the California Indian and White Civilization (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1976)].
From 1857 to 1860, U.S. author/poet Bret Harte wrote for the Northern Californian and the Humboldt Times. Bret was privy to the white massacre of 188 Wiyot Indians on Indian Island in Humboldt Bay near Eureka on February 25, 1860, in which it was reported only one Wiyot child survived. Harte’s story, entitled “Indiscriminate Massacre of Indians, Women and Children Butchered,” included this account: “Little children and old women were mercilessly stabbed and their skulls crushed by axes. When the bodies were landed in Union [present day Arcata] a more shocking and revolting spectacle never was exhibited to the eyes of a Christian and civilized people. Old women, wrinkled and decrepit, lay weltering in blood, their brains dashed out and dabbed with long grey hair. Infants sparce a span long, with their faces cloven with hatchets and their bodies ghastly wounds. . . .” [Northern Californian, Vol. 2, Issue 9 (February 29, 1960), p. 1]. Barte fled as whites sought to lynch him.
In California as elsewhere, hordes of white frontier settlers, speculators, surveyors and other opportunists were establishing permanent settlements as they moved westward from the Atlantic Coast colonies, especially following cessation of the Seven Years War in 1763. Thousands of murders of Indigenous were proudly admitted by settlers and investors/speculators engaged in activities the equivalent of today’s paramilitary death squads operating outside “official” channels, i.e., acting parallel to or outside the jurisdiction of federal troops.
Preventive war using terror against civilians as ordered by the government carried out by young male troops or paramilitary forces are “all-American” values. Such policies have been witnessed time and again in U.S. history, rationalized by our sense of being “exceptional” people. We remain in denial about our arrogant, racist and genocidal origins. More redeeming values have been exhibited, such as civil disobedience and waves of progressive political movements. But the prevailing political and economic structures remain intransigently oligarchic. In simple terms, we remain a white male supremacy society of plutocrats supported by massive numbers of obedient consumers and laborers.
By revealing our social secrets (an oligarchy committed to selfish exploitation) and realizing that those secrets have pre-empted our social myth (a democracy committed to equal justice), we can help catalyze a revolution of consciousness. Recognizing that obedience to our system is killing us and the Planet’s capacity to host us, is a grand initial step for triggering the imaginative forces necessary to enable rapid movement toward a society based on mutual aid in which sustainable communities are built and nourished at the local level.
We have yet to come to grips with the original holocaust that continues to serve as the defining and enabling experience of our “civilization.” Embracing this “shadow” can ironically enable sudden and radical shifts as we are freed from expending the incredible unconscious energy needed to conceal our shame. Sharing our grief for what we have done to others, and ultimately to ourselves,will be experienced as tremendous relief.
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NICARAGUA IN THE CROSSHAIRS
The Nicaragua Crisis in Historical Perspective
Though I have become a Nicaraguan citizen and have lived in the country for the past
year, I embarrassingly am still unable to intelligently converse in Spanish. Nonetheless,
I continue to focus my studies on the involvement of the United States in the affairs of
other countries, including Nicaragua.
The first US Marines landed on Nicaragua soil in 1853 in efforts to protect US shipping and railroad interests. In 1854, the Atlantic Coast city called Greytown (later San Juan Del Norte) was bombarded by the USS Cyane for 4.5 hours, burning the entire community to the ground. A dozen or so invasions later, when the US Marines were fighting the Sandino forces who wanted the Yankees out of its country, a peace agreement was reached in 1934, but August Cesar Sandino leader of the guerrilla forces against the US Marines, and an advocate of peoples' producer and artisan coops, was assassinated on orders from the US to thwart the peace. The US-installed Somoza family ruled until ousted by the revolutionary FSLN on July 19, 1979.
Within 50 days of US President Ronald Reagan's inauguration in January 1981, Reagan on March 9, issued a formal presidential finding authorizing the CIA to begin covert activities to overthrow the new Sandinista government, with $19 million originally allocated for that purpose. The Contras were formed. Almost a billion dollars and ten years later, the US-funded and trained and armed Contra forces had destroyed much of the social fabric of the new country, killing more than 30,000 of its citizens, and maiming for life thousands more.
When the 1990 Nicaragua elections were held as called for by the FSLN government, the US spent $50 million to create a new political party, designating its own candidate, Violeta Chamorro. US President Bush openly declared to the Nicaraguan people that if they did not vote for the US chosen candidate, there would be ten more years of war, and thousands more murdered and maimed. The US candidate won, and for 16 years the Liberals and Conservatives were in power, privatizing virtually everything until the FSLN regained political power in 2007.
During the 11 years the FSLN has been in power, the country ranks as the safest in Central America (with lowest homicide rate by far), the World Bank has concluded it as a model economy for developing nations, it has become a popular tourist destination, and is a leader in creating renewable electric energy for the country.
Nonetheless, the US has been busy behind the scenes (what I call the Black Hand) through its "National Endowment For Democracy" with more than a dozen annual projects funded with more than a million dollars a year to foment dissent and dissatisfaction with Nicaragua to appease the disgruntled right wing forces who detest the Sandinista government. In effect, since Reagan's March 1981 decision to create the Contras to overthrow the Nicaraguan government, the US has NEVER left Nicaragua to develop its own unhindered efforts at creating a social democracy.
This does not mean the Sandinistas have created a paradise and are free of making mistakes as is typical of all governments, especially the USA. The latest disenchantment over the changes in the taxes to support its health care and retirement system did not warrant violence, but more intelligent debate and political changes to make the system more fair.
What explains the intense violence, from students and others to the changes in the health care law (INSS), is likely a golden "opportunity" the US has been waiting for to have an excuse to foment sufficient unrest, manipulating social media, with the goal of "regime change." Certain questions about the behavior of the police in quelling the current unrest need to be explained and addressed, but whatever dialogue is created, soon, I hope, will have the courage to address the Black Hand of the US and its NED programs in the country that have been teaching "democracy" in US style - through fundamentalist thought with violence always available to assure "regime change."
Whether one likes Daniel and Rosario or not, and their top down governing style, they have been overseeing a fairly successful society compared to all other Central American countries - El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, even Costa Rica (considered less safe than Nicaragua).
Let's hope that this crisis leads to a fresh approach to governing the beautiful people and nation of Nicaragua, that may include new leadership.
And let us not forget that the US has militarily intervened in dozens of countries almost 600 times over the last 220 years, and possesses nearly 1,000 military bases in many countries, and has, as a nation, one of the highest violence rates in the world, and more homeless per capita than any other country.
The US has absolutely NO moral or legal authority to tell anyone anything.
I do not know what is going to happen, and my lack of Spanish language is certainly an impediment to my being able to articulate a better analysis. But I am now a Nicaraguan and I intend to stay here, dead or alive. What I do know is that the US government detests the Sandinista government and is salivating at regime change because that is what the US is experienced in when a nation does not sufficiently "Cry Uncle". And that the US has never left the Sandinistas alone to develop their own version of a social democracy. This is historical fact.
SBW, former commander in Viet Nam where I learned of the long history of lies of my own country.
US military personnel are on the ground in virtually every country - at least 75% of them. .....
The Dynamic Influence of Past Patterns on the Present
Cultural historians, philosophers, psychologists, essayists, and scientists caution us to seriously understand the past and its pervasive patterns. Sigmund Freud declared that in psychic life, nothing of what has been formed in the past ever disappears. Everything that has occurred is preserved in one way or another and, in fact, reappears under either favorable or unfavorable circumstances.
“The past never leaves us and the future is already here”. [Lewis Mumford].
“Wherever Western man went slavery, land robbery, lawlessness, culture-wrecking, and the outright extermination of both wild beasts and tame men went with him’. [Lewis Mumford].
“The West has ravaged the world for five hundred years, under the flag of master-slave theory which in our finest hour of hypocrisy was called ‘the white man’s burden’....
What sets the west apart is its persistence to stop at nothing”. [Hans Koning].
“Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it”. [George Santayana].
“Those who control the present, control the past and those who control the past control the future”. [George Orwell].
Rupert Sheldrake, biochemist, cell biologist and philosopher, describes a theory similar to psychologist Carl Jung’s collective unconsciousness, or concept of a group mind, a kind of inherited COLLECTIVE memory.
Sheldrake suggests the process by which the past becomes present occurs within what he calls “morphic fields”. A morphic unit is any
form or organization such as atom, cell, social group, pattern of behavior, or even a galaxy and they possess morphic fields that organize its characteristic structure and pattern of activity. They in turn are shaped and stabilized by “morphic resonance” which incorporate influence of PREVIOUS structures of activity that transmit causal influences through both space and time. The memory within the morphic fields is CUMULATIVE within which the past thus becomes present.
When impunity dominates history, justice as a permanent value in the history of humans ceases to exist. This psychopathology produces a
sickness in the soul—of the individual, as well as of a nation—where nothing is real. Everything becomes pretend, the lies told over and over
in many different forms throughout time.
Impunity produces severe disturbances within the individual and collective psyche, manifesting in psycyopathological behaviors of huge magnitude, such as wars. Think of a spoiled child who has never been taught boundaries or been held to account for harmful behavior. Collective as well as individual narcissism can lead to extreme antisocial conduct. Security is experienced through individuality, and rigid adherence to individual and national economic privatization, but not social justice. Identification is achieved through possessions.
The acquisitive habit settles into the inner life, pre-empting an authentic inquisitive and social mind. A social compact is destroyed in deference to privatization, creating anomie. Life is commodified. Disparity between the Haves and Have-Nots becomes extreme; today this is called neo-liberal economics. History is negated, successfully concealing past traumas such as unspeakable genocides and wars about lies.
How many US citizens know of the crimes our country systematically commits throughout the world,
crimes that are constant, remorseless, and fully documented?
Really, how many? It is of no interest. Without historical context, there is little capacity to critique the veracity of contemporary policies and rhetoric. Our delusion of exceptionalism, if it is believed, means the US just couldn’t be involved in patterns of criminal interventions. Our origins just couldn’t be built on dispossession and genocide. This is not the American way. But the fact is that this is the American way. We simply don’t know about it and don’t want to know about it. Impunity has erased memory.
"I have had to feel, intensely, the pain of letting go of my addiction to the myth and the comfort that is associated with believing in "America" and its Way Of Life. In the process of letting go, I have chosen to walk, difficult though it is, on a different path, striving to free myself from imperialistic assumptions and thinking. This enables me to evolve as an authentic human being experiencing the new joys that accompany awareness of my sacred interconnectedness with all life. We are not worth more, they are not worth less."
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