Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Emma Goldman

This is from an essay at DISSIDENT VOICE by Binoy Kampmark:

While monuments to the war makers and fallen soldiers dot the town squares of the combatant nations, lingering like morbid call cards for failed militarism, there are virtually none in the service of peace.  The tenaciously wise and farsighted Austrian noblewoman Bertha von Suttner, the first woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize in 1905 and suspect the motives of governments behind the Hague Peace conferences, hardly figures in commemorative statuary.  Nor does Rosa Luxemburg, who began a twelve-month sentence in Berlin’s Barnimstrasse Womens’ Prison on February 18, 1915 for “inciting public disobedience”.
Her crime, committed during the words of her famous Fechenheim address, was to call upon German workers to refuse shooting their French counterparts should war break out.  “Victory or defeat?” she would sadly reflect in her anti-war tract, The Junius Pamphlet (1915) written whilst in confinement.  “Thus sounds the slogan of the ruling militarism in all the warring countries, and, like an echo, the Social Democratic leaders have taken it up.”

As Adam Hochschild sourly noted in 2014, those who refuse to fight or barrack for war are ignored by the commemorative classes.  “America’s politicians still praise Iraq War veterans to the skies, but what senator has a kind word to say about the hundreds of thousands who marched and demonstrated before the invasion was even launched to try to stop our soldiers from risking their lives in the first place?”

The Berkeley Library at UC Berkeley notes:

Emma Goldman (1869–1940) stands as a major figure in the history of American radicalism and feminism. An influential and well-known anarchist of her day, Goldman was an early advocate of free speech, birth control, women's equality and independence, and union organization. Her criticism of mandatory conscription of young men into the military during World War I led to a two-year imprisonment, followed by her deportation in 1919. For the rest of her life until her death in 1940, she continued to participate in the social and political movements of her age, from the Russian Revolution to the Spanish Civil War.

UC Berkeley is where Emma's papers are housed.  From SPARTACUS EDUCATIONAL:

Goldman was also imprisoned the following year when she was accused of urging the unemployed to steal the food they needed.
After she was released from prison Goldman became involved in the campaign for women's suffrage and birth control information. She was in the news again in 1901 when Leon Czolgosz, who assassinated President William McKinley, claimed he had been influenced by the speeches of Goldman.
After ten years in prison, Alexander Berkman wrote to Goldman : "My youthful ideal of a free humanity in tile vague future, has become clarified and crystallized into the living truth of Anarchy, as the sustaining elemental force of my everyday existence." Berkman was released in 1906. He wrote that "I feel like one recovering from a long illness: very weak, but with a touch of joy in life."
Goldman and Berkman edited and published the journal, Mother Earth, between 1906-1917. Goldman also wrote Anarchism and Other Essays (1910) and The Social Significance of the Modern Drama (1914).
After the death of Johann Most, Berkman and Emma Goldman became the leaders of the anarchist movement in the United States. They published the radical journal, Mother Earth and books such as Goldman's Anarchism and Other Essays (1910) and and The Social Significance of the Modern Drama (1914). They also helped organize the Ferrer School in New York City and industrial disputes such as the Lawrence Textile Strike.
On the outbreak of the First World War both Goldman and Alexander Berkman became involved in the campaign to keep the United States out of the conflict. Berkman moved to San Francisco and in January, 1916, started a new anarchist journal, Blast. When five months later a bomb went off killing six people in the city. The authorities suspected that the bomb had been planted by anti-war campaigners and Berkman was arrested but later released. Thomas Mooney, a local trade union leader was falsely convicted of the offence but spent the next twenty-three years in prison before being released.

After the USA declared war on the Central Powers in 1917, it was claimed that Berkman had violated the Espionage Act. Under this act it was an offence to publish material that undermined the war effort. Berkman was arrested, tried and sentenced to two years in Atlanta Federal Prison, seven months of which he spent in solitary confinement for protesting against officers beating fellow prisoners.
In 1919 Woodrow Wilson appointed A. Mitchell Palmer as his attorney general. Soon after taking office, a government list of 62 people believed to hold "dangerous, destructive and anarchistic sentiments" was leaked to the press. It was also revealed that these people had been under government surveillance for many years. Worried by the revolution that had taken place in Russia, Palmer became convinced that Communist agents were planning to overthrow the American government. Palmer recruited John Edgar Hoover as his special assistant and together they used the Espionage Act (1917) and the Sedition Act (1918) to launch a campaign against radicals and left-wing organizations.
A. Mitchell Palmer claimed that Communist agents from Russia were planning to overthrow the American government. On 7th November, 1919, the second anniversary of the Russian Revolution, over 10,000 suspected communists and anarchists were arrested. Palmer and Hoover found no evidence of a proposed revolution but large number of these suspects were held without trial for a long time. The vast majority were eventually released but Goldman, Alexander Berkman, Mollie Steimer, and 245 other people, were deported to Russia.

As Agnes Smedley pointed out: "Much that we read of Russia is imagination and desire only. And no person is safe from intrigues and the danger of prison. The prisons are jammed with anarchists and syndicalists who fought in the revolution. Emma Goldman and Berkman are out only because of their international reputations. And they are under house arrest; they expect to go to prison any day, and may be there now for all I know. Any Communist who excuses such things is a scoundrel and a blaggard. Yet they do excuse it - and defend it. If I'm not expelled or locked up or something, I'll raise a small-sized hell. Everybody calls everybody a spy, secretly, in Russia, and everybody is under surveillance. You never feel safe."

Emma was a trailblazer.  She is someone whose work pretty much has to be known for us to move forward in any real manner today.

"Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):
Tuesday, November 13, 2018. Fakes asses and the silent ones do their part to keep war going.

"Diversity, in the hands of the White power elites -- political and corporate -- is an advertising gimmick: a new face -- a brand -- gets pushed out front accompanied by the lavish, financial rewards that come with serving the White power structure as long as the game is played," Chris Hedges noted on last week's ON WEEK'S WITH CHRIS HEDGES.  He and BLACK AGENDA REPORT's Glen Ford discussed the con of diversity -- how the power structure allows tokens who carry on the power structure not independent actors who can address real issues.

The con.

Rep. Barbara Lee is running for Dem caucus chair this month. There has NEVER before been a black woman in House leadership in either the Democratic or Republican parties.

Oh, look, it's shuck and jive Barbara Lee who wrote a biography filled with lies.  Do we need to go into all the lies that she jammed into that book?  Because we can.  Suffice is to say, Barbara is a do nothing and retains her seat at the talbe because she never challenges and she never truly argues for the people.

What Vaccine Safety Review?? RFK, Jr and Del Bigree win huge vaccine case!

Cynthia McKinney.  She raised real issues.  She spoke her truth.  And they did all they could to run her out of Congress.  When she made her way back, Nancy Pelosi ridiculed her and refused to recognize the years she served.  Maxine Waters did call that out.  Where was Barbara Lee?  Slathered in Porcelana and desperate to show Miss Nancy that she's a team player who won't offend by taking up for Cynthia.

What has Barbara ever done?

A statement.  A vote that was meaningless.  That's the story of her life: Meaningless.

Where's the Out of Iraq Caucus, Barbara?  Because the US is not out of Iraq.

Barbara wants her seat at the table even though she never does anything and won't do anything if she gets her seat.  She just wants it for a yearbook credit, not to stop wars, not to alter an unjust system.

You'll note she stayed silent on the below.

Let's give war criminals medals, guys! What Iraq war? What Afghan war?

Her silence on Joe Biden (Democrat) giving War Criminal Bully Boy Bush a medal shows just how pathetic and craven Barbara Lee is.  Supposedly, Iraq matters to her and Afghanistan matters to her.  But Biden might run for president and he's a Democrat like Lee so she's not going to say one damn word.

Fortunately, not everyone is silent about the normalizing of a War Criminal.

“A group of veterans are blocking the entrance to the National Constitution Center Sunday, where former Vice President Joe Biden is slated to present former President George W. Bush an award for his commitment to veterans.”
. Protesting Joe Biden giving the war criminal the Obama administration didn't prosecute, George W Bush, the - Thus rendering this award a useless piece of crap to whoever holds one.
3K viewers
Joe Biden just presented a Liberty Medal to George and Laura Bush.

Middle East Eye : In the recent months, up to 100,000 people have been taken to hospital for water-related illnesses in the southern Iraqi province of Basra, which suffers from a shortage of potable water, prompting thousands to protest in the streets.

Proud to call one of these protesting vets a friend. Shameful to win an award for starting a sham war. I wonder if Bush or Biden stopped in Kenzo to meet Mark, who's now homeless&addicted (due to the REAL "WMD" - VA opioid policy).
Biden just spat in the face of millions of anti-war Dem voters and sent a message to people of Iraq that their suffering means shit to him.

Thanks to all who protested war criminal George W. Bush receiving a Liberty Medal. I hope Democrats were paying attention Joe Biden presenting completely disqualifies him if he decides to run for president. When will the Bush Admin face ?
Great piece : “Biden says he ‘always respected’ Bush during his administration, presumably even while he was getting countless thousands murdered for no legitimate reason and after it was public knowledge that Iraq had been invaded based on lies.”

You know we're living in some kind of strange, delusional world when Joe Biden is presenting George W. Bush with a Liberty Medal for his "commitment" to veterans...
When Joe Biden, who helped Obama topple governments in Libya, Ukraine and elsewhere, praises George Bush, the destroyer of Afghanistan and Iraq, for his commitment to “democratic values”, you know that the phrase has completely lost all of its meaning.

2020 Democratic presidential candidates should be salivating over the image of Joe Biden giving a medal to George W. Bush.

The continued rehabilitation of war criminal George W. Bush as a hero and patriot by liberals including Joe Biden has got to be one of the most disturbing and dangerous developments of the Trump era. It’s clearly intentional and the implications are terrifying.
“About 30 protesters — veterans and others — disrupted the 90-minute ceremony with whistles and sirens that could be heard over speeches by former Vice President Joe Biden.” No Awards for Endless Wars!
  • Joe Biden is a war criminal on his own merit. He has probably been lying about Iraq longer than GW Bush has.
    Replying to   and 
    George W Bush is a war criminal. He deserves no honor for “his commitment to veterans”. I’m ashamed of Joe Biden for giving him the award! Disgusting!
    I want Joe Biden to read the story wrote for following his embed with my unit in 2005 or any one of thousands of stories of Iraq War injustice and misery and look me in the eye and tell me Bush deserved that stupid worthless medal today

    Leah Todd (Center for Constitutional Rights) notes:

    CCR stands in solidarity with the veterans who yesterday interrupted an award ceremony in Philadelphia honoring former President George W. Bush. Veterans were responding to President and Laura Bush receiving the “Liberty Medal,” an award to honor those “who strive to secure the blessings of liberty to people around the globe,” for their “commitment to veterans.” This is a whitewashing of history, and, in particular, ignores Bush’s shameful role in advancing a lawless, hyper-militarized, and privatized “endless war” paradigm that led to the commission of widespread war crimes and human rights violations in Afghanistan, Iraq, and beyond, and the lack of care and services provided to U.S. veterans and service members under his tenure. The Trump administration’s overt white supremacist, xenophobic, Islamophobic hate must not serve as a cause to forget that many of today’s egregious policies originated in or were incubated by the Bush administration’s disregard or distortion of bedrock Constitutional principles and an international human rights framework.

    CCR is appalled at the presentation of this award to Bush by Joe Biden. As president, Bush was responsible for starting unconstitutional and illegal wars – that put U.S. service members unnecessarily in harm’s way and killed, injured, and displaced millions of civilians – under false pretenses, while instituting the repressive domestic response to 9/11. Those wars continued into the Obama administration, which refused to hold Bush administration officials accountable for illegal policies of torture. The lack of accountability – this impunity – helped pave the way for the reappearance of Bush-era officials in the current administration, including C.I.A. Director Gina Haspel, who oversaw torture at a C.I.A. black site, National Security Advisor John Bolton, who advocated hawkish anti-multilateralist positions, and recently confirmed Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, whose precise role in developing the Bush administration’s legal justifications for its torture policy remains unclear. Biden’s presentation of this award to Bush reinforces the legacy of impunity upheld by both their administrations. Granting Donald Trump such an additional example or justification for embracing lawlessness is downright dangerous.
    Bush’s legacy is relevant today. The brutal effects of U.S. militarism post-9/11 – including the descent into torture and unlawful detention, the conservative estimate of half a million directly killed and twice that indirectly killed since 2001, an environmental crisis impacting public health and organizing in Iraq, a refugee crisis spurred by expanding wars and stymied by discriminatory U.S. immigration policies, and sectarianism further entrenched by U.S. policies under occupation that fomented the emergence of groups like ISIS in U.S.-run prisons in Iraq – are neither over nor reckoned with. Forty men remain imprisoned at Guantánamo Bay. Victims of torture at the notorious Abu Ghraib prison are still seeking accountability for torture involving private military contractorsAirstrikes continue to cause underreported civilian casualties. And John Bolton continues to attack both accountability and multilateralism, this time seeking to interfere in efforts at the International Criminal Court to investigate U.S. torture in Afghanistan. As the U.S. expands military activity in the region and globally – and continues to bombard Iraq and Afghanistan to this day – it is vital that we remember the gory history of these wars and work to end them once and for all.
    This award erases these realities and burnishes the image of a president who has been broadly condemned for his policies and scandals – including revelations of torture at Abu Ghraib, Guantánamo, and C.I.A.-run black sites, invasion of Iraq justified by non-existent weapons of mass destruction, and implementation of a post-9/11 counterterrorism framework that incorporated mechanisms of detention, surveillance, and criminalization that abandoned Constitutional principles and set in motion countless human rights violations yet has been modeled around the world. But Bush’s rush to war also led to horrific consequences for U.S. service members – disproportionately from communities of color – who consistently lacked access to necessary health care, experienced high rates of sexual assault that was rarely prosecuted, were regularly discharged and denied benefits for untreated mental health issues, and among whom suicide rates skyrocketed to nearly one every day.
    CCR stands with war-impacted communities, including veteran communities, in exposing the reality of the nearly two decades of U.S. militarism since 9/11 and its devastating consequences, for which Bush and his accomplices must be held responsible. A true way to honor Veterans Day, which began as the peace-oriented Armistice Day, would be to acknowledge these harmful legacies and finally provide reparations and accountability.
    Veterans who oppose the awarding of this medal to former President Bush are encouraged to sign About Face’s petition.

    This was a major moment and it's amazing how many stayed silent.  Joe Biden wants to be president but this is his John Kerry moment (John speaking to high schoolers in California and kissing his shot at the presidency goodbye).  It was so bad that John was forced to issue an apology (and even that didn't save his presidential dreams).  Joe should be forced to as well.  And if Joe Biden doesn't know what to say, maybe he can steal the words of John Kerry?

    In Basra, protests continue.

    Middle East Eye : In the recent months, up to 100,000 people have been taken to hospital for water-related illnesses in the southern Iraqi province of Basra, which suffers from a shortage of potable water, prompting thousands to protest in the streets.

    As Iraq's new prime minister continues to dither, Hamdi Malik (AL MONITOR) reports:

    Anger is escalating in Basra over the new government's stance toward this strategic city and the demands of its people. The continued marginalization of this oil-rich city could spell a new round of unrest.
    Voices have been calling for new protests and sit-ins in Basra in light of what activists describe as neglect of the province by the Iraqi central and local governments.
    As part of their efforts to organize protests, Basra activists launched the Arabic hashtag that translates into “We are coming back for you.” They called on Basra’s residents to stage mass protests in front of the South Oil Company (SOC) on Nov. 4 and to prevent its employees from entering its premises.
    Mahdi al-Tamimi, head of the Basra office of Iraq's High Commission for Human Rights, confirmed Oct. 31 the existence of a strong movement by all coordination committees in the province to stage protests.
    Indeed, a protest took place Nov. 4 in front of the SOC. Protesters tried to prevent the entry of vehicles into the company’s premises.


    The following community sites -- plus Jody Watley and CCR -- updated: