While my highschool classmates were rebelling as Punks, or conforming like Preps in the 80’s, I was digging into the history of Latin America with its: Latin-American death squads in El Salvador; Sandinista Revolution in Nicaragua against the CIA supported government; United Fruit’s corruption of Guatemalan politics; the 10’s of thousands of disappearances of citizens in Argentina. And more often than not, I would discover how the U.S. was involved on the wrong side – allying with oppressive, violent, and corrupt dictatorships against the Peoples of Latin America. This investigation into the seedy underbelly of the U.S. governments’ secret alliances and military actions, initiated me into my first personal political crisis. How does one come to terms with being an American, when being so links you with a government capable of such evil actions and alliances?
From 15 till perhaps my 40’s, I hated the thought of even thinking of myself as an American – like a child of a serial killer who denies their parentage. And on a personal level it gave me solace to deny this identity of mine, and allowed me to psychologically disassociate from the dirty-politics of my country, but it also was a cop-out. I have spoken about this before, my lack of political participation in the past. It wasn’t for lack of caring or of knowledge. But I was so aggrieved with the political apparatus that was connected to the Latin American historical horrors as I had become acquainted with from the age of 15 , that I refused to ever consider getting involved in politics. Historically, Americans have always thought of politics as a “dirty business.” Politicians and lawyers, who often become politicians may be powerful, may have money, but generally neither is generally considered an entirely respectable career. We all know, that at the basis of our laws – lawyers/politicians often choose to lie/deceive in order to achieve their goals. No other professions give such leeway for corrupt behavior. But in American politics it is accepted.
And here we are, as a Nation, being represented by a bunch of corrupt goons, who bought, bribed, lied, and schemed their way into power – few of them sincerely representing the will of the people. When I engage in debates with Republicans or Libertarians, they accuse me of being a Democrat or a Radical. And I have issue with both labels. I am registered as a Democrat, because I want to vote in the primaries which determine the Democratic candidate, but beyond that I don’t support the Democratic Party’s inability to champion the issues that their constituents really care about: – raising the minimum wage; health care for EVERYONE without insurance interference; gun control; Student Debt Reform; money OUT of politics; environmental/health issues – GMO-Labeling; Regulation of Fossil Fuel producers concerning pollution – Fracking; Coal Company Emissions.
And of course, since I actually care about the quality of life, air, environment, and food of the average person in this country – I am labeled a radical by the right-wingers. Really? They encourage me to “trust” the corporations that have FIRST say in the governance of this nation. And they call ME naïve.
So now, that those who are the prostitutes of the Fortune 500 now have majority control of both the American Senate and House – what exactly is an American Citizen to do?
What do we do? We fight harder. We organize better. We invent new political tools. We inform ourselves about the issues,and we make our voices heard. And most importantly, we need to realize we are NOT alone. All over the world, people are fighting for the same issues that we care about. We need to unite with our brothers and sisters globally – to let the power elites know the PEOPLE are watching out for each other and we have each other’s backs! And Once We the People, Recognize our TRUE STRENGTH and start USING it … there will be NO WAY of stopping US!
In the Name of International Unity
The U.S. is closely allied with Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. Yet both of their governments are extremely repressive of freedom of speech; political participation; civil rights, especially of women; and freedom of religion – supporting an interpretation of Islam that is particularly rigid and hostile toward non-Muslims. These governments speak with forked tongues – On the one hand, condemning the “evil western” ways, which the U.S. symbolizes, speaking to their countrymen, and on the other hand, making military deals with the U.S. – to protect their particularly oppressive ways of life.
In the petition below, women in Saudi Arabia are denied the legal right to drive. Never mind voting, or freedom of speech, or press, or of political gathering, or religion … none of those things are permitted either in the ABSOLUTE monarchy of Saudi Arabia. Absolute meaning the King’s word is tantamount to Allah’s word. And the US taxpayers are paying for the military costs of the base parked on Saudi soil. But since we don’t have any say as to how our government continually rips us off with its immoral military expenses, perhaps we can help the Saudi women gain the right to drive. And the U.S. alliance with this dictatorship will become just a little less gag-worthy.
Below is a petition is to save the life of Asia Bibi, a Pakistani who was wrongfully accused of blasphemy – the punishment of which is the death penalty. Seriously, we are political and military allies with a nation that will kill people for saying something anti-Islamic? How is Pakistan any better than Iran then?
And while these two petitions are targeting governments of Muslim countries, I want to state that I do not have a vendetta against Islam itself. For over 10 years I have intensively studied both Islam and the politics of Muslim majority countries. And I have come to the conclusion, that much of the hostilities between Christianity and Islam have to do with the power-elites of both manipulating the power of religions to accomplish nefarious goals. No government should have “control” or “legislate” the human spirit!
My last entry for International Consideration is a short video – Over the past four years, the Unist’ot’en clan of the Wet’suwet’en nation have literally built a strategy to keep three proposed oil and gas pipelines from crossing their land. Concerned about the environmental damage a leak could cause on land they’ve never given up, they’ve constructed a protection camp to block pipeline companies. As opposition to the development of Alberta’s tar sands and to fracking projects grows across Canada, with First Nations communities on the front lines, the Unist’ot’en camp is an example of resistance that everyone is watching.
What is of particular interest is how effectively the Unist’ot’en clan of the Wet’suwet’en nation has worked politically as a community and with international supporters. Our governments could learn a thing or a million from them. Where are the political science PhD candidates of the future – they should haul their asses up to Canada to document this!