Yes to Revolution, No to Clash of Civilizations

Back during the Baby Bush era, Karl Rove was alleged to have said “there will be no 60′s style revolution.” This was a fairly accurate assessment of the people’s disconnect from the democratic process and the call of the declaration of independence to get rid of a government that isn’t working for them. US civil society was largely disengaged from the political process as indicated by the relatively small percentage of people that vote(d). Perhaps because they are disenchanted, disenfranchised or because they’re living in the pink bubble of happiness in the within the privileged class.

The results of this lack of engagement were devastating – for the entire world. The neo-conservative agenda went into full swing. As outlined in the document “Rebuilding America’s Defenses”, the Project for the New American Century articulated their intentions to undermine the US Constitution and declare endless war putting into motion their version of the Clash of Civilizations (a manufactured ideology that they can say, arguably, came to pass (of course they engineered it as such). So, while they were at work, most of the disengaged were unaware of their intentions (though it was available for anyone to read): undermine the sole authority of the US Congress to declare war and restore it to the Executive branch (realize that this was a primary reason for establishing a democratic republic with separation of powers); gain control of the purse strings for military spending (again, a fundamental principle of a democratic republic -keeping the executive from controlling the decision to go to war and how to appropriate the peoples funds for it); to dismantle the relationship between corporation and government and, in essence, making the weapons manufacturers, arms dealers and the government one in the same – now with the power to declare war endless war and spend the peoples money).

You can imagine the results of this; you live in it: the gross unequal distribution of wealth within the US and between the Global North and the Global South (as it is called); regime change by hook or by crook in Iraq, Libya, Syria, Tunisia, Egypt and so on; those endless wars in some of the aforementioned states, the Orwellian rise of terrorism to sustain the endless wars via the creation of ISIS and company in the very same and dubious way that the US organized the Base (Al Qaeda) to undermine the USSR in Afghanistan to establish their place on the Grand Chessboard… and so on.

The thing about megalomaniacal psycho-sociopaths is that they are, in fact and by definition, unaware of how they affect those around them and, similarly, disconnected from how those they are affecting feel about them. They can get away with their behavior for a little while, especially with the idealistic, well-intentioned and/or naive among us. Eventually people get hip to their game and their behavior becomes unsustainable. This can be expressed in a lot of ways but I think it is most importantly, for our sake, exemplified by the fact that few military engagements since the end of the Second World War have been successful; the ultimate outcomes of such incursions was that the moral legitimacy of the indigenous peoples percolates to create some version of non-violent “armed” resistance and finally revolution: think Rose, Orange, Jasmine, Crimson, Denim revolution, think Gandhi and King and Arab Spring. For all of the successes and the relative failures what is taking place may be described, in part, as the moral arc of the universe bending towards justice, that after a long train of abuses people get smart and organize and take it upon themselves to change their situation. That was the very nature of the US revolution as much as it is the nature of the armed resistance in Palestine.

What we are witnessing today in the US Presidential Circus is a complete shift of Karl Rove’s prediction from a period of disengagement (engineered or otherwise) to a period where they thoroughly underestimated – thanks to their disconnect from civil society – the power and potential of a disenfranchised, organized peoples who were sick of the status quo (the rich stealing from the poor: the government stealing from its citizens) to stand up to the power elite, essentially spit in their face while they use every tactic in the book and even invent some new one’s, to try to shut democracy down.

If there were not a leader, Bernie Sanders, who appears to be resonating with a YUGE contingency of the American electorate, we would probably not be organically converging to Sanders’ camp. It’s good that he’s here now and whether he wins the election or not we should remember the oscillation between the “no 60′s style revolution” Rove predicted (the sleeping sheople) and the invigorated engagement we seem to be witnessing and a part of now. WE have to remember that there is a very powerful force that is always engaged in its sole purpose: to use the tools of this democratic republic to actually undermine democracy. From a Newtonian frame of reference, if we want to keep the system from slipping deeper/back into tyranny, we are going to have to be as organized and powerful a force as the establishment. If we are going to get it to move towards justice we’re going to have to organize, strategize, and work harder than they do. Their are so few of them and so many of us. Sander’s has shown, through the financial and social support he gets, that if we each contribute a little money, a little love, a little blood, sweat and tears, we can easily over power those who are working so desperately to keep us locked in the enchanted prison and likely, with the right attitude and intention, send them to the asylum where they belong.

Without a leader we may have to organize and act on our own into the future.

The United Nations: We won’t be fooled again!

Posted on 3rd January 2015 in Peace, Peace Pedagogy, Practice, Reflections, Self Determination

Perhaps the first seminal work on large scale brainwashing of a peoples was “A Pedagogy of the Oppressed,” by Paolo Freire: an essay published in or around 1970 in which he articulates the notion that when the language of a peoples, of a nation, is the language of the oppressor, the peoples themselves are sort of caught in an intractable relationship between oppressor and oppressed until they come to realize that their language is a sort of prison guard to their perpetual slavery and if they can change the way they speak, they can change the way they think and can therefor change the way the act and, ultimately change the nature of their circumstance: their oppression.

 

A recent example of this, it has been argued, is the Occupy Wall Street movement – which, for its potentially dubious origins, lack of organization and overall ineffectiveness did exemplify the potential power of a semi-organic movement coalescing, organizing and beginning to define itself. It was, in a sense, a parthenogenic disturbance: an unfertilized embryo destined to spontaneously abort with no potential of becoming viable. In any case, perhaps a better and more appropriate terminology to express the intent and sentiment of the occupiers would have been to call the movement “inhabit wall street” or “cohabitate wall street” indicating something more in line with what was being sought – equality and justice. This one word switcheroo is a total game changer and has profound implications, speaking volumes to the very fundaments and intentions of the collective and definitely redirecting the strategy. It includes all stakeholders as having a valid claim in a shared space and demands dialog, listening and, as Freire called it, a dialogical conscientiazation. It is, in essence, the knowledge that is gained and shared through learning about others’ capacities and interpretations of reality; it is learning empathy.

 

Similarly, the entire world has been duped into accepting the United Nations as a collective of states organized to contract and execute international norms regarding war and peace: international human rights law, international humanitarian law, international criminal law and others. That in and of itself is a seemingly noble cause save the fact that the United Nations is a collection of states and nations are collections of peoples of a common culture: an ethnic community (with a slightly political bent – a meaning the term has evolved to include). States haven’t been around that long historically. Before that it was empires, dynasties, monarchies and the like: colonialists at heart and in practice. The idea that states should represent the will, desire, expectation and needs of a nation is also a noble prospect yet, historically, this is not the case. To expect a United Nations of united states to carry out the will of a united nations of peoples is seemingly absurd. Perhaps this is why the United Nations is fundamentally dysfunctional. The representatives at the UN are not necessarily representing the will of the nations of peoples whom their respective governments send to deliver the message of the nation; that is, the message of the nation at the United Nations is the message of the state and even in the glorious western democracies the likelihood the will of the nation and the will of the state coincide is slim.

 

Let’s call it what it is or, better yet, create what it should be. A true United Nations of united nations of peoples coming together and doing what the states are unable or unwilling to do because they are inept or have dubious intentions. Those among us who have traveled to other lands and met other peoples – physically or astrally – understand that the common ground for our humanity is vast yet the establishment of the foundations for equality and peace are outside of the purview of many of the member states of the United Nations and, as a functional organism, the United Nations is incapable of carrying out its mandate because it is structurally compromised – as its name indicates.

The Zero State One Nation Solution: Terra Nullius

by H. Gibrain

A viable solution which would respect the human rights of all concerned and which would solve the problem of borders and resources, as well as demographics and the right to return for all peoples, Palestinian and otherwise, would be to declare the geographic boundaries defined by the Palestine Mandate as terra nullius – no one’s land.

Since this “disputed” land (annexed and occupied by the UN and Israel and the US and others by proxy) is really the last great colonial product of the British Empire – now perpetuated by the US and the other former colonized British states – let it be the first place on earth where there is no state control based on any discriminatory factor, where no one owns the land and where all people are seen as equal under the moral code of the nation as determined by what could be a stateless nation with a constitution (not defining a government structure, per se, but defining a moral code analogous to the Bill of Rights in the US and other international declarations based on equality, peace, justice, liberty, freedom, truth, dignity, trust and the rest of the virtues.

Such a move will require a great deal of courage from the United Nations organs and member states who are willing to uphold the law through their words and actions, an organized popular resistance from Palestinian civil society – and potentially the PA (as, say, exhibited in Abbas’ speech at the UN (in 2011 I think it might have been), and the international solidarity movement through BDS and other means of non-violent popular struggle.

The UN, in order to overcome the inertia of the security council and other organs that prevent the UN organizations – as an expression of its member states – to carry out its functions as prescribed by international law, the UN will likely need to change the structure since the current structure is not properly carrying out its function. The possibility and effects of a Second UN Charter convention should be seriously contemplated by the General Assembly and other appropriate bodies of the UN. Primarily, a restructuring or elimination of the Security Council, the veto, or how it can be used needs to be evaluated and the creation of some body representing civil society needs to take place – a people’s parliament.

In a Newtonian sense, when there are forces acting on a body creating a certain trajectory, in order to alter that trajectory and get it to go in the direction of an international law and human rights based system, the right actions need to take place from the right forces. In this case, as history has shown, there is no political will or skill from the main stakeholders to change the trajectory, so the Palestinian civil society and the respective civil societies of the world need to learn the principles and practices of non-violent popular struggle – which has shown, historically, to be a much more effective means of conflict transformation. It is not the military might that will win the struggle for legitimacy, it is the struggle for equality and justice from international solidarity with the Palestinians that will usher in a durable peace.

 

 

MSMBS Breaking News: Israel puts travel ban on domestic and feral animals: Scorpion detained at border, Falcon shot down.

Posted on 3rd August 2014 in Animal Rights, Articles, MSMBS, Stories

In a latest decision by the Israeli Knesset, legislation was passed forbidding anyone born in the Palestinian Territories from entering Israel until they’re done bombing Gaza. While the new legislation does not explicitly prohibit the travel and migration of other than human animals into Israel’s walled off enclave, there have been numerous reports indicating that this legislation does not explicitly not ban cross border travel for other than human animals. Earlier this morning there was an incident reported at the Qalandia checkpoint between Ramallah and Jerusalem in which a Falcon, presumably Palestinian according to the IDF soldier, attempted to fly across the border into Israel.

“While there is no real way of telling if this is a Palestinian Falcon or an Israeli Falcon, we can’t take the risk. It is worth it to sacrifice one of our own for the sake of preventing… well, I’m not really sure but who cares. If it’s Palestinian, it has no right to be in Israel.”

At another less frequented checkpoint where most of the traffic are settlers going in and out of the illegal settlements in and out of Israel proper, a scorpion was detained, questioned and released back in the direction West Bank as it was attempting to cross the checkpoint. The same scorpion, it was presumed, later attempted to cross again and this time was shot by an IDF soldier.

“We will have none of this. This person was detained, questioned and sent back. At the second attempt to cross the border it was immediately considered a security threat and neutralized,” said the IDF soldier who asked to remain anonymous.

Navi Pillay, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, expressed a grave concern for such measures indicating a greater isolation for Israel among the member states to the UN Charter.

“While such measures do indicate that Israel is ahead of the rest of the world when it comes to extending the right of legal personhood to non-human species, we are concerned since these measures seem to be used only as a means to further isolate and discriminate against the indigenous population. However, seeing as we are the UN, based on our current structure we are powerless to do anything against this decision and until the UN has a second charter convention and gets rid of the security council you can expect that Israel will continue to act with impunity… oh, and so will the US, Russia, China, France, the UK and so on.”

Pre-Occupation of the Heart IV

Posted on 22nd May 2014 in Poetry

by H. Gibrain
for Fidaa

 

I am not afraid of your guns
I know they are only loaded with flowers
aim them at me and fire away

those tear gas canisters are loaded
with the saline suffering of your ancestors
give them to me, I will heal them

your check points I know
they are there to protect me from myself
lest I lose my mind and forget how to love like you did

your warships and missiles
have killed my sweet child and proud father
now you are safe poor thing go back to your hate bubble

and laugh and sing and dance while you can
when you wake up your dream will be more than you can bear
you will turn to stone then crumble to dust
and I will sweep up after you

Adam Roufberg interviewed by Activist Radio about his experiences in the West Bank and on The Jenin Freedom Bus

Posted on 22nd April 2014 in Interviews, Reflections, Self Determination

Fred Nagel of Activist Radio interviews Adam Roufberg – peace researcher, human rights activist and former radio host at WVKR (RadioActiveLunch), to discuss his experiences in the West Bank and on the Jenin Freedom Theater’s Freedom Ride. [the interview begins at 24:00]

  

Listen to the interview >>

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The Freedom Theatre
The Freedom Bus
Youtube Videos from Nabi Saleh >>
Alrowwad – Beautiful Resistance >>