9/11 -- Thirty Five Years On
Today is the thirty-fifth anniversary of the coup in Chile; a coup in which a terrorist superpower brutally overthrew a democratically-elected government.
Few Americans will remember this anniversary, they'll be solemnly remembering one of their own -- an anniversary brought about, in part at least, because of the kind of imperialist despotism that September 11, 1973 so clearly reminds us.
Long live the memory of Salvador Allende and the brave Chilean people!
On 31st August, 1980, the Polish communist government gave in to the demands of the striking workers at the Lenin Shipyards in Gdansk. The workers were now free to organize and bargain freely.
There is no doubt that Reagan, Gorbachev and Thatcher played major roles in ending that vicious and dangerous period of history known as the Cold War. But we must never forget the vital role played by the epic struggles of Lech Welesa and his fellow workers in Gdansk.
It is a shame their extraordinary bravery was followed by rampant Reaganite globalization fueled by speculative consumer-capitalism, and leaves us today with a hard-hearted corporate-driven pre-emptive American hegemony, but still the original bravery deserves remembrance.
Free Marijuana Day!
On this date in 1937, FDR signed the Marijuana Tax Act, effectively making marijuana illegal. That worked well, didn't it? The legislation and its successors has made criminals of -- literally -- millions of Americans; it has ruined many millions more in affected families, and has created the incarceration crisis that threatens to overwhelm the US today.
In memory, therefore, it would be good to make August 2nd Free Marijuana from the Clutches of The Law Day.
The Invasion of the Dominican Republic
43 years ago today, in order to protect the world from "a second Cuba", US President Lyndon Johnson -- obviously not distracted enough by losing the Vietnam War -- ordered the US Marines to invade that Caribbean superpower, the Dominican Republic. Operation Power Pack was launched on April 28th, 1965 and the occupation by the imperialist forces lasted until September 1966 after a pro-Trujillo, pro-American president was elected. About 3,000 civilians are thought to have died to save the American Empire.
Lest we forget.
The Coup in Hawai'i
Today is the 115th anniversary of the takeover of the Hawai'i Islands by American trading interests, overthrowing the native kingdom. America already had a long history of violent and genocidal imperialist annexation ("Manifest Destiny") on the mainland. The coup in Honolulu was a logical, if long, step into the Pacific.
Free Enterprise My Ass
The true free enterprise economic system has been moribund in the US for decades. When so much of the economy is tied up in the anti-competitive government-managed military-industrial-financial complex, then "free enterprise" becomes no longer a part of reality, simply a useful rhetorical tool. This has been going on since before World War Two. But we may soon have a real date to hang on to as the "Death of Free Enterprise Day".
Within the next week or so, we expect the Bush Administration to enact regulations that will fix (i.e., mandate) low interest rates for those house buyers who are classed as sub-prime even when their contractual obligations call for those interest rates to rise steeply in the next months. In other words, house buyers in the US are being told that it doesn't matter that they purchased a house they could not afford; someone else will come along and help them pay the bill. No worries. Of course, for those tax-payers (and their grandchildren) who will be told to pay these bills there might be some worries.
The Democrats are pushing much the same interest-rate freeze proposals. Hillary Clinton, for example, came out with hers this morning.
Both the Democrats and Bush will say they are doing this to help the poor Americans who dug this hole for themselves, to help save them from inevitable foreclosure. They will say it is the duty of hardworking American taxpayers to pay up to help this unfortunate group save their homes. Such bullshit this all is. Both plans in reality seek to save the grasping financial markets from meltdown.
Both the Democrats and the administration know that the real losers in any genuine sub-prime meltdown are not the new homeowners (who will simply return to their lives in low-rent apartments) but the finance companies who will never be able to sell the repossessed houses at the prices the companies paid for them. It is the finance companies the American taxpayers will be bailing out -- again!
The Bush Doctrine Lives -- In Pakistan
The Bush theory of the "unitary executive" ( a modern theory of dictatorship, espoused by three or four US Supreme Court justices) has been taken to its logical extent by Bush's favourite partner in the war to promote "democracy". General Mushareff has declared martial law in Pakistan, and fired the Chief Justice of the Pakistani Supreme Court for disagreeing with him.
Yesterday, Bush Administration spokespersons loudly and publicly told Mushareff not to do it. Quietly and more effectively Bush Administration decision makers whispered to him that nothing would really happen, so go ahead.
Perhaps Bush and Cheney are looking for experience in this business, for their own coup just before January 2009.
The Invasion of Grenada
On October 25, 1983, the United States invaded the tiny Caribbean nation of Grenada ("Operation Urgent Fury"). The 1,500-strong Grenadian Army, along with 600 Cuban allies, were considered such a strategic threat to the Imperial Power that Ronnie Reagan sent in the Marines, lying through his teeth to his erstwhile ally Margaret Thatcher all the while.
Lest we forget: opposition to the power will be crushed ruthlessly no matter how petty it makes the power look.