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Archive for the ‘Code Pink’ Category

World cop, world hit man, world bully…

Posted by G.A. Matiasz on September 4, 2013

There is no nice way to say it. Apropos to my last post, there’s another American experience we need to acknowledge. The United States of America is the world’s bully, the world’s hit man, the world’s cop. Let’s begin with this necessarily incomplete list of US interventions around the world since 1890:

1US Interventions_Page_012US Interventions_Page_023US Interventions_Page_03

4US Interventions_Page_045US Interventions_Page_056US Interventions_Page_06

7US Interventions_Page_078US Interventions_Page_089US Interventions_Page_09

10US Interventions_Page_1011US Interventions_Page_1112US Interventions_Page_12

13US Interventions_Page_13

This doesn’t include anything before 1890, which can be covered on this website, by which we can infer the expansion of the United States from its original colonies to roughly 1860:

GrowthofUS_1853_Ref

This Wikipedia article is more comprehensive regarding the numerous Indian wars by which the American settlers gradually took the entire continent. This map covers Indian wars in the continental United States:

TRANS_map_of_indian_battles

While this map depicts only the Indian wars west of the Mississippi:

Indian wars map

Then there are the much more recent graphic documentations of American intervention around the globe since 1945, covered here and here.

USA_intervention_bleu

interventions_map

There are gaps in this chronology, but you get the gist. America is an empire, in addition to a bully, a hit man and a cop. And you wonder why Code Pink is shadowing Secretary of State Kerry with red hands dyed to symbolize blood?

8B09475933CE4697A1F6F4DA40F6564E

Posted in American Empire, CIA, Code Pink, Indian wars, life, military intervention, US military | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Medea’s response to being pied

Posted by G.A. Matiasz on July 2, 2007

Medea’s response to being pied can be read here.

I find some of her statement, in particular the pop psychological stuff about the people who pied her being resentful and angry and not having the love of family and friends, to be a bit disingenuous. It’s a common ploy for defenders of the status quo to reduce youthful rebelliousness to a matter of hating one’s parents. Revolutionary socialism is thus dismissed as problems with authority that stem from the revolutionary’s family of origin, a smug Freudian put down that could apply to Medea as well as to those who pied her.

In turn, this is part of a broader critique of psychology and psychiatry as mechanisms to help fucked-up people fit into an even more fucked-up society. That’s the subject for a book, not a post. For the moment, I want to note that Medea’s dichotomy between resentment and anger on the one hand, and love and empowerment on the other hand, is extremely simplistic, and not very useful.

Or, to quote Johnny Lydon from the PiL song “Rise:” “Anger is an energy.”

Posted in anarchism, anarchists, Bakers Without Borders, black bloc, Code Pink, Global Exchange, Medea Benjamin, politics, revolutionary, socialism, the Left | 1 Comment »

You’ll get pie in the sky…

Posted by G.A. Matiasz on July 1, 2007

pie-in_face.jpg

Medea Benjamin got pied yesterday at the United States Social Forum in Atlanta, Georgia by the Bakers Without Borders and Co-optation Watch.

From Global Exchange to Code Pink, Medea Benjamin impresses me as a grandstander who, as the Bakers correctly point, acts “as self-appointed spokesperson of the ‘American Left’.” Whether she should have been pied is a different matter.

The incident certainly brought something to my attention that has corrected a false impression I had of Medea. Her infamous quote from Seattle 1999 [“Here we are protecting Nike, McDonald’s, The Gap, and all the while I’m thinking, ‘Where are the police? These anarchists should have been arrested.’] left the impression that she wanted all the black bloc anarchists tossed into jail. Benjamin’s statement from Z Magazine, as quoted in the comments section to the pie throwing piece, is worth reprinting.

“There has been some controversy about a quote from me that appeared in the New York Times Dec. 2. The quotation implied that I was calling for the arrest of those people who destroyed property in downtown Seattle during the WTO protest. I want to make it clear that the quote was distorted, taken out of context, and not reflective my true feelings. I did not call for the arrest of anyone, though I did point out the irony that the police were attacking nonviolent protesters while ignoring those destroying property. Do I wish the people causing the damage had been arrested? No. Would I have helped to get them out of jail if they had been? Yes. And I certainly apologize if the statement attributed to me has caused any harm to the anarchist community in general. Do I approve of the tactics that this particular group of self-described anarchists used in Seattle Nov. 30? Definitely not. That, not the distorted quote, is the real issue here. There are certainly occasions in which the destruction of property furthers the cause of social justice and helps garner public support, but this was not one of them. The Boston Tea Party is an example of the destruction of property a shipment of tea. When the Zapatistas rose up in 1994, they destroyed army posts and other symbols of a repressive state. Members of the religious community in the United States have destroyed weapons of mass destruction to express their profound moral opposition to war. And forest activists have destroyed the engines of bulldozers to prevent the clear-cutting of old-growth forests. “The list of tactically thoughtful and politically principled property destruction goes on and on. What these acts have in common is that they were the result of a long process of working with and gaining the support of the affected community. This was not the case in Seattle.”

— Medea Benjamin, Z Magazine

Posted in anarchism, anarchists, Bakers Without Borders, black bloc, Code Pink, Global Exchange, Medea Benjamin, politics, Seattle 1999, United States Social Forum, USSF, Z Magazine | Leave a Comment »