S Brian Willson Portal at The Alliance: http://www.ThePortlandAlliance.org/sbrianwillson
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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