Tuesday, May 29, 2007
Pacifica Commentary For May 23, 2007
How is a civil war started? Actually it is quite easy. Here are the directions:
First, you must be the superior military power in the region.
Next, you must occupy the territory of a weaker polity.
Third, you must establish a puppet government in the region you have occupied.
This puppet government can be structured by way of demonstration elections, that is elections which are designed for public relations reasons and propaganda regarding democracy. Once you have developed a docile, servile, dependent government in the occupied area and you begin to favor your obedient selectees with money, homes, status and armed security, a predictable result will follow.
The people who refuse to accept the new puppet government will rightfully consider the new regime to be traitors to their nation and they will revolt.
Now the occupiers have the civil war they wanted in the first place. The occupying country then begins to crank out predictable propaganda saying, "See how violent those people are. They simply have no idea how to govern themselves. Think how fortunate they are that we can govern for them." And then the blood bath is underway.
There is one problem here. History tells us that the imperial state, that is the state with the power to begin the occupation, simply cannot hold on to its surrogate government. The government they have selected will be corrupt, inept, and will self destruct. As the empire tries desperately to maintain its chosen opportunists, the opposition gains strength every day and ultimately the empire has to leave or disintegrate.
Friends, this is what we have witnessed in India as the Brits finally backed off and compacted their empire into the British Isles. This is what we witnessed in Vietnam, and Latin America and this is what we are witnessing in Iraq, Afghanistan and Palestine and Lebanon. The occupying power can foster civil wars but they cannot endure. It is so unfortunate that those who use the logic of power and authority do not yet understand that power and authority have absolutely no value and no legitimacy in making a valid argument. The occupiers have the brutality to start a civil war. But they do not have the humanity necessary to build a peaceful future. If there is to be a peaceful future, it can only be built by humanists with a functional sense of morality and ethics.
Please listen to world focus on Sunday, May 27th at 10:00 AM. My guests will be Army Medic Agustin Aguayo who has refused to serve in Iraq and Frida Berrigan, Senior Research Associate with the Arms Trade Resource Center of the World Policy Institute.
Thursday, May 17, 2007
Pacifica Commentary For May 16, 2007
One of Latin America's most notorious criminals, a terrorist, continues to live freely within the United States.
In 1976 Luis Posada Carriles was charged by Venezuela with masterminding the bombing in flight of an airliner and killing all 73 passengers including 24 members of Cuba's fencing team and 11 Guyanese medical students. Prior to 9/11 this was the deadliest attack on an aircraft ever to occur in the Western Hemisphere.
Posada Carriles escaped from prison in 1985 and continued his terrorism. He was linked to the bombings of several hotels in Havana. In the year 2000 he was arrested in Panama for attempting to kill Fidel Castro and many of the audience in a school auditorium.
In 2005 Posada reentered the United States illegally and took up residence in a luxurious Miami apartment. The Department of Homeland Security failed to detain him. In May of that year Venezuela formally requested his extradition from the United States so he could be tried for 73 counts of murder in the 1976 airline bombing.
Homeland Security claimed that Posada might be tortured if he were sent to Venezuela. Apparently Homeland Security had confused Venezuela with our concentration camp in Guantanamo.
And now various Members of Congress have demanded to know why Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez has never declared Posada a security threat and has not jailed him under the Patriot Act.
In the meantime Cuba had decided to assist the United States in efforts to curb terrorism. Five non-violent investigators from Cuba were in the process of researching terrorism in Miami. They are Antonio Guerrero, Fernando Gonzalez, Gerardo Hernandez, Rene Gonzales and Ramon Lebanino. Rather than praising the work of these Cuban citizens, U.S. authorities have detained all five of them, thrown them into solitary confinement and slammed them with sentences from 15 years to double life in prison.
This blatant hypocrisy is completely consistent with the behavior of our current Attorney General and the President who appointed him. It should be added that terrorism on the part of certain exiles from Cuba has been either supported or ignored by our government for five decades. The Bush/Gonzalez group, however, has brought this issue to its apex. They not only continue to harbor terrorists but they have codified torture in their failed efforts to occupy and control Iraq and Afghanistan.
The terrorist Luis Posada Carriles must be detained and tried. The five Cuban citizens who have dedicated their lives to fighting terrorism must be freed.
Please listen to WORLD FOCUS ON Sunday, May 20th at 10:00 AM. (KPFK, 90.7 fm). My guests will be students and faculty at the University of California who intend to fast until the Regents of the University stop the corruption of using academia as a research center for nuclear annihilation.
Friday, May 11, 2007
Pacifica Commentary For May 9, 2007
Major media is covering the visit of Pope Benedict XVI to Brazil. The media consistently mentions the threat of liberation theology and the efforts made by the Vatican to stamp it out.
But as usual, the commercial media just does not get it.
Rumors of the demise of liberation theology are premature. Journalists should reflect on the fact that Jesus was born long before Marx and that Marx was probably influenced by Jesus. Pick up your New Testament and read the Acts of the Apostles:"The faithful all lived together and owned everything in common; they sold their goods and possessions and shared out the proceeds among themselves according to what each one needed." Acts 2, 44
History can clarify the situation. Back in the fourth century when the Emperor Constantine called the Council of Nicaea, on the Turkish coast, and paid the way for the attending bishops, imperial theology was born. The emperor had granted an Edict of Toleration to the Christians. In return we witness the emergence of imperial theology.
The sword and the cross came together in building the empire, in the crusades, the inquisition, the conquistadors and the contemporary "Christian" war mongers who can be cheer leaders for a filthy and ongoing holocaust in Iraq. Liberation theology is simply an effort to dissolve the heretical imperial theology which has tainted Christianity for centuries. Making war in the name of Jesus is heresy.
Jesus firmly embraced a preferential option for the poor. The Church must do the same.
80,000 base communities of liberation theology will reverently listen to the Pope when he visits Brazil. They will show love, honor and respect for his role. However nothing and no one will ever stop them from practicing the democracy of the base community which is the democracy of the Acts of the Apostles.
The method of the base community is to first observe a situation, next to make a collective judgment about the situation and finally to enter in a praxis or reflective action.
It is this kind of collective wisdom together with the fact that the empire is busy destroying the cradle of civilization in Iraq that has made it possible for the people of this hemisphere to enter into a definitive arc of liberation.
As in the case of Galileo and practically every other new concept, the Vatican, in time will begin to understand what the Spirit is doing. Both our political and church leaders must learn how to follow an enlightened people.
Please be sure to listen to WORLD FOCUS at 10:00 AM on Sunday, my guests will be Dr. Dahlia Wasfi who testified at a Congressional Forum giving an account of life in Iraq and Nativo Lopez, National President of the Mexican American Political Association.
Sunday, May 06, 2007
Pacifica Commentary For May 2, 2007
When you see millions of immigrants on the streets of the United States on May 1st, please understand that their issues are now your issues. Threats of terrorism and millions of immigrants are being used to justify new police-state measures in the United States. Coordinated mass arrests, big brother spy blimps, expanded detention centers, repeal of the Posse Comitatus Act, and suspension of habeas corpus have all been recently implemented and are ready to use against anyone in the U.S..
The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) flooded Mexico with cheap subsidized US agricultural products that displaced millions of Mexican farmers. Between 2000 and 2005, Mexico lost 900,000 rural jobs and 700,000 industrial jobs, resulting in deep unemployment throughout the country.
Desperate poverty has forced millions of Mexican workers north in order to feed their families.
In the wake of 9/11, Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) has conducted workplace and home invasions across the country in an attempt to roundup so-called "illegal" immigrants. ICE justifies these raids under the rubric of keeping our homeland safe and preventing terrorism. However the real goal of these actions is to disrupt the immigrant work force in the US and replace it with a tightly regulated non-union guest-worker program.To accommodate the detention of tens of thousands of people, Homeland Security, in 2005, awarded Halliburton's subsidiary Kellogg, Brown and Root a $385 million contingency contract to build detention camps in the United States. The Military Commissions Act signed October of 2006 suspends habeas corpus rights for any person deemed by the President to be an enemy combatant. Persons so designated could be imprisoned indefinitely without rights to legal counsel or a trial. When you see those marchers next Tuesday, remember that the immigrants are marching for your rights as well as for their rights.
Thanks to Professor Peter Phillips of Sonoma State University for this information.
Be sure to listen to WORLD FOCUS on Sundays: 10:00 AM- 11:00 AM
KPFK, Los Angeles, 90.7 FM (Santa Barbara, 98.7 FM). My guests will be Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, Mairead Corrigan Maguire and Gerry Condon of Project Safe Haven for troops who are resisting the war in Iraq.
Pacifica Commentary For April 25, 2007
Commercial media would like to give you two choices. Are you for the current immigration practices or are you for a guest worker program? The correct answer is none of the above. Do not allow them to frame you into two possibilities when there are two hundred possibilities. Current immigration practices are among the most punitive, mean spirited and counterproductive in U.S. history.
Please witness the Immigration Customs Enforcement which is making militaristic raids on factories of hard working people, breaking up families and imprisoning people with the same failed tactics we have used in Iraq. This is the perfect way to make enemies and to drive substantial portions of the population underground.
What do we want? We want to amend the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) to permit parents of U.S. citizens to petition through their US citizen children under 21 years of age to avoid deportation of their parents. Corporations which are legal persons are free to move their capital throughout the world with few constraints. But people who are real and not fictitious persons are not free to move for their security and safety. Such freedom is granted in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights but unfortunately the United States is not complying with that international accord.
We also want to reinstate the jurisdiction of Federal Courts to review various agency decisions involving immigrants. The Federal Courts were stripped of this jurisdiction during the Clinton and Bush Administrations.
We want to support the DREAM Act, which facilitates the education of immigrant youth and legalizes a population that would be almost certain to remain residing in the US in an underground and unlawful status.
We support the CHILD CITIZEN PROTECTION ACT (HR 1176) which would allow an immigration judge to consider the well being of US citizen children before deporting the immigrant parent.
We want to ensure that all workers have the right to organize and bargain collectively and to repeal international trade agreements that simply stimulate undocumented immigration.
These are only a few of the changes necessary to make immigration laws humane.
You can view the entire proposal of the Unity Blueprint for Immigration Reform by going to
And please be sure to listen to WORLD FOCUS this Sunday at 10:00 AM on KPFK. My guests will be Mairead Corrigan Maguire, Nobel Laureate who had just been shot by the Israeli forces while at a gathering in Bilin, Palestine. Mairead was there for an international gathering on the importance of non-violence in conflict resolution. Mairead won the Nobel Peace Prize for her role in ending the violence in Northern Ireland.Gerry Condon, a Vietnam Veteran sentenced to ten years in prison for failure to serve in that war and now heading up SOLDIER SAY NO/PROJECT SAFE HAVEN.