Is the U.S. Government at War with the Muslim World?

The massive, angry demonstrations and attacks on U.S. embassies sweeping through the Muslim world comes in the context of a campaign against Muslims carried out by the U.S. government in an attempt to justify their wars against Muslim countries. This campaign includes preemptive prosecutions where FBI agents create phony plots and encourage behavior that can be prosecuted and attacks on civil liberties at home; the Peter King hearings; NYPD spying on Muslims; raids and detentions; and states that have passed anti-Muslim laws. It includes the physical attacks on Muslims, on mosques and on people who racist whites think are Muslims, like Sikhs, and opposition to Muslim building projects like Park 51 and much more.

This atmosphere encourages the kind of hateful anti-Muslim video that was produced. At some point, it had to be expected that Muslims around the world would react. The U.S. will spin this by focusing on the film and implying that all Muslims are crazy and do not support freedom of speech. However, this is a self-serving lie and a diversion from the real root causes. Humiliation is a necessary component of the cycle of abuse. It should be noted that similar attacks on Judaism and the Holocaust are prosecuted as hate crimes and that artists and musicians who have created work offensive to many Christians have been vilified and threatened.

We need to put the blame squarely where it belongs — on the U.S., which has been at war with the Muslim world in order to dominate and control resources and power. We have seen the utter destruction of Libya, Iraq and Afghanistan; drone attacks on Muslim countries we are not at war with, including Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia; and the persistent economic starvation and political suffocation of the Muslim people in Egypt, Yemen, Somalia, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and other countries by US backed dictators enforcing Western dominance in the region. So-called “targeted assassinations” kill many innocent non-combatants and are viewed simply as “collateral damage” rather than murders, demonstrating how little the U.S. government values non-Western lives.

The fact that these protests came as a surprise to the U.S. State Department is a reflection of the arrogance and stupidity of a government that claims it is bringing freedom and democracy to the region through drone missiles, sanctions, assassinations, and occupations and expects the people to be grateful.

The unfortunate deaths of the American Ambassador in Libya and members of his security team are the direct result of violent, hypocritical, internally conflicted US policies in the region, whether the unanticipated result of the rioting triggered by the film or blowback for longstanding U.S. atrocities rooted in the ongoing wars. It is long past time to reject those policies and begin a new era based on respect for the dignity and humanity of every individual and of all the various cultures and religions of the world.

We must stand in solidarity with all the victims of U.S.-sponsored violence and repression.

END THE WARS & OCCUPATIONS! BRING ALL THE TROOPS HOME NOW!

NO DRONE ATTACKS! NO SANCTIONS! HANDS OFF SYRIA & IRAN!

END RACIST REPRESSION, RAIDS, FRAME-UPS & ISLAMOPHOBIA AT HOME!

 

Mourning Keeper of the Mountains Larry Gibson, and the Appalachians He Defended

More than four years ago, decked out in his trademark yellow cap and shirt, Larry Gibson famously waited his turn at a political rally in Beckley, W. Va., and finally got the chance to ask then-presidential candidate Barack Obama whether he would defend the land and people of central Appalachia.

Few people in our country were so fearless in the face of political pressure, bankers, Big Coal backlash and even death threats; and fewer people had the inspiring impact of this determined mountaineer, who had spent the last two decades crisscrossing the country, leading protests and beseeching power brokers to defend his Appalachian mountains from reckless strip mining operations.

His message was simple and to the point: Love them or leave them, just don’t destroy them.

Today, working on his beloved Kayford Mountain homeplace — the symbolic sky island surrounded by nearly 8,000 acres of mountaintop removal devastation that has served as an important training ground for a generation of activists, educators and chroniclers — 66-year-old Larry Gibson reportedly died from a heart attack, as committed as ever as one of the most indefatigable, cherished and courageous spokespeople in the movement to abolish mountaintop removal mining.

And still waiting for Washington, D.C. to end to one of the most egregious human rights and environmental crimes in the nation.

And still waiting for an uprising in the hills of Appalachia, and the halls of Congress and the White House to join him on the frontlines of social justice.

2012-09-10-LarryGibson.jpg Larry Gibson, photo courtesy of Vivian Stockman, Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition

“I never wanted to become an activist, but I had to,” Gibson told interviewer Taylor Lee Kirkland in 2009. He continued:

If I hadn’t I would have been torn off this mountain a long time ago. There are thousands of people around the world who have heard me speak since I started this work, but honestly I wish to God no one knew my name. I wish I didn’t have to leave my home and talk to people about mountaintop removal. Last year I traveled eight months out of the year talking to people about this stuff. But I know I have to bring this message to the world and I’m gonna fight for justice in every way I can. We have to have an uprising. This isn’t an uprising that can be bought with money, but one that’s coming from the hearts of honest and hardworking people.

As the news of Gibson’s tragic loss spreads tonight, thousands of students, educators, activists, Washington wonks and policy analysts, and journalists and filmmakers from around the nation and world continue to release statements and post photos of how one mountaineer changed their lives in his pursuit for justice on Kayford Mountain, and his patience in greeting everyone at this homeplace.

“I spent the day with Larry on Thursday,” acclaimed photographer Paul Corbit Brown emailed me. “To say he had an enormous impact on all of our lives wouldn’t be enough. To say he was a hero wouldn’t be enough. To say he changed our lives wouldn’t be enough. To say has was deeply loved and will be missed wouldn’t be enough. But let me tell you what was on his heart just days ago. He stressed that this fight was never about him or his mountain alone. It was, and is, about all of us and our shared future. It is about the thousands of young people that he called his kids. It is about those not yet born. It wasn’t about Larry Gibson and a mountain. He wanted to be a voice for all people and the mountains and homes they love. He wanted to speak for Justice and to inspire those too frightened to speak. And even those who called Larry an enemy and wished to do him harm, he spoke of them, still, as “his People.” Rest in Peace, Larry. It was only appropriate that you should be on your mountain when you left this world. You can rest assured that we who you left behind will not rest until we finish the work you so passionately and courageously began.”

“Larry was one of the strongest, kindest, most dedicated peaceful warriors for justice I’ve ever known in my life,” said Rory McIlmoil, a West Virginia-based coal and clean energy analyst. “And that no matter who you were, or which side you were on, Larry’s smile, his laugh, and his compassion would remind you that we’re all human and that we should care and fight for each other. I’m definitely going to miss Larry Gibson.”

“The world is better for all Larry did to try to ensure a future hope for besieged and blasted generations of Appalachia,” said Bob Kincaid, president of the Coal River Mountain Watch board. “At Kayford Mountain, he was among the first to show the world the ravages of Mountaintop Removal, making real and immediate and undeniable the coal industry’s most dirty secret. Where I’m sure he is, I know the waters run clear and cool, and the air is no longer choked with dust, and Larry smiles in leisure well-earned.”

“For those who love mountains, Larry was a god,” wrote Rob Perks, with the Natural Resources Defense Council in Washington, D.C. “There was no one like him, a man who literally put his life on the line to keep the coal industry from stealing our shared legacy. His spirit will live on in our continued fight to end The travesty of mountaintop removal.”

“Larry’s endlessly inspiring efforts and words are exemplary of a true hero,” noted Chelsea Marie Ritter-Soronen, a St. Louis-based artist who took part in Mountain Justice and direct action protests in West Virginia. “Like many, I’ll never forget the first time I heard him speak about mountaintop removal, it simply changed my life.”

 

Greed and Debt: The True Story of Mitt Romney and Bain Capital

By Matt Taibbi
August 29, 2012 7:00 AM ET

The great criticism of Mitt Romney, from both sides of the aisle, has always been that he doesn’t stand for anything. He’s a flip-flopper, they say, a lightweight, a cardboard opportunist who’ll say anything to get elected.

The critics couldn’t be more wrong. Mitt Romney is no tissue-paper man. He’s closer to being a revolutionary, a backward-world version of Che or Trotsky, with tweezed nostrils instead of a beard, a half-Windsor instead of a leather jerkin. His legendary flip-flops aren’t the lies of a bumbling opportunist – they’re the confident prevarications of a man untroubled by misleading the nonbeliever in pursuit of a single, all-consuming goal. Romney has a vision, and he’s trying for something big: We’ve just been too slow to sort out what it is, just as we’ve been slow to grasp the roots of the radical economic changes that have swept the country in the last generation.

 

Read the rest of this entry »

 

Obama in Pittsburgh: Peace Action: STOP DRONE ATTACKS | FUND PITTSBURGH TRANSIT

People have to have heroes, but no person can ever be as big as the
need, and so a legend grows around a grain of truth, like a pearl.”

–Peter S. Beagle

STOP DRONE ATTACKS | FUND PITTSBURGH TRANSIT

STOP DRONE ATTACKS | FUND PITTSBURGH TRANSIT

 

My cell phone alarm clock went off at 5am.

I slowly took a shower and began to wake up to the day’s work. I drove
to a residential area that bordered Carnegie Mellon University (CMU)
campus. I emptied the contents of my pocket into the back seat. I
folded up an 11 by 17 inch piece of paper till it was a small square
and placed it in my back pocket. I took off my sandals and slowly put
on my steel toed work boots. i walked down the street and rested on a
wall by a bus stop, I sat there for a very long time and thought.
Because of a car accident I had as a pedestrian in 2001, I still have
trouble walking even a few blocks and have to stop to catch my breath. I
walked from the bus stop to my fave coffee shop, the 61c. Out of a
sense of nervousness I began devouring all of its cafe food, fresh
squeezed orange juice, hot croissants and a chocolate raspberry scone
together with a pond of decaf ice coffee. The Barista glanced at me wondering if
I was a Rothschild and this was my normal morning tribute to
consumerism. I sat and collected my thoughts. As the morning progressed a
friend walked in and asked, “hey aren’t you going to hear Obama speak
this morning?” I laughed a little bit too loud and gave him some vital phone
numbers. The activist lawyer shook his head and stated, “well Vincent
you will never be out of a job. Here is my private cell phone number, call
collect from jail and I’ll come visit.

Read the rest of this entry »

 

Stop the Tar Sands Pipeline!

Urge Secretary Clinton to conduct a new and rigorous review of the Keystone XL!

TransCanada has submitted a revised application for the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline, but the State Department is signaling it will not conduct the kind of thorough environmental review that President Obama promised. Tell Secretary Clinton to undertake a review that reveals the true and far-reaching impacts of this disastrous project!

ACT NOW »

 

Save the Arctic: The melting Arctic is under threat!

The Arctic ice we all depend on is disappearing. Fast. Soon it could be ice free for the first time since humans walked the Earth. This would be not only devastating for the people, polar bears, narwhals, walruses and other species that live there – but for the rest of us too.

Learn more at SaveTheArctic.org

 

Unimaginable horrors in Syria —

Amnesty researcher just returned from Syria, where she uncovered shocking crimes against humanity.

Syrian government forces are killing civilians in organised attacks on towns and villages that amount to crimes against humanity

Devastating brutality. Shattered families, shattered futures. Syria is descending further into chaos — a human rights catastrophe in the making.

 

“They killed my sons, the dearest things I had… How can a mother endure such pain?” The words of one mother interviewed by Amnesty researcher Donatella Rovera after her three sons were dragged from their home, brutally killed and burned.

She is one of many mothers in Syria who right now are facing the unendurable. And her story is just one of many heartbreaking, firsthand accounts of cold-blooded killings and destruction gathered by Amnesty International on the ground in Syria, documented in the new report Deadly Reprisals.

The bloodshed must end. There are no easy solutions. But one thing is certain — there must be accountability for these attacks on Syria’s civilians.

Urge U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to call for UN Security Council action on Syria, while there is still hope. There is much more that world leaders can do to stop the wanton assault on Syrian civilians before the crisis deteriorates even further, including:

  • Freezing the assets of President Bashar al-Assad and other senior Syrian government officials
  • Ensuring an effective arms embargo to stop the flow of weapons to the Syrian government
  • Referring the situation in Syria to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court

Secretary Clinton, the UN Security Council, and all the world’s leaders need to know you have your eyes on Syria, and that you expect action. Real consequences for President Bashar al-Assad and his associates. No more weapons to commit abuses. And a full investigation into the rampage of atrocities being committed in Syria by the International Criminal Court.

Syria’s people are crying out for our help. There is more we can do — and it’s time to act.

For peace and justice,

Sanjeev Bery
Advocacy Director, Middle East & North Africa
Amnesty International USA

P.S. Join us tomorrow for an exclusive inside account of the Syrian crisis from Amnesty researcher Donatella Rovera, who recently returned from the country. Get your questions ready — the live online chat will run at amnestyusa.org/amnestylive from Noon-1PM Eastern/9-10AM Pacific on Friday, June 15.

 

End Mountaintop Removal Now

I love Mountains: End Mountaintop Removal

This Saturday over 150 people will travel from across the country to Washington DC for the 7th Annual End Mountaintop Removal Week in Washington. Together they will blanket DC with one clear message: Stop Mountaintop Removal Coal Mining in Appalachia.

For years we’ve lobbied Congress. This year, we’re raising our voices a little louder. But we won’t be successful without YOUR help.

Mark your calendar for one week from today and join thousands on June 6th, and demand an end to mountaintop removal coal mining.

You don’t have to travel to DC to take a stand against one of the most serious human rights violations happening in our country today. 

Next week, support our mountain heroes by calling on your Congressperson to support the Clean Water Protection Act:

  1. Set up an in-district meeting with your local Congressional office or just drop by. Setting up a meeting is simple! Here’s how.
  2. Join our National Call-in Day

This simple action will have a huge impact.

We have many champions fighting with us in Congress – 121 to date – but many more who have repeatedly turned a blind eye to the deadly situation in Appalachia, or worse — actively campaigned to weaken what little protections exist. But it’s time to stand up to those bad actors and demand more, because Appalachia deserves better.

We will win, but we need you more than ever. Big Coal has taken note of our progress – and they are working overtime to erase our victories and block the passage of this bill.

Stand with us on June 6th.

For the Mountains,

Matt Wasson

If you can’t come but want to help others attend, donate here to support the 7th Annual End Mountaintop Removal Week in Washington.

P.S. — Please help us spread the word on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.

 

Beekeepers Win Ban on Monsanto’s GMOs in Poland

Monsanto’s Mon810 corn, genetically engineered to produce a mutant version of the insecticide Bt, has been banned in Poland following protests by beekeepers who showed the corn was killing honeybees.

Poland is the first country to formally acknowledge the link between Monsanto’s genetically engineered corn and the Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) that’s been devastating bees around the world. Many analysts believe that Monsanto has known the danger their GMOs posed to bees all along. The biotech giant recently purchased a CCD research firm, Beeologics, that government agencies, including the US Department of Agriculture, have been relying on for help unraveling the mystery behind the disappearance of the bees.

Now that it’s owned by Monsanto, it’s very unlikely that Beeologics will investigate the links, but genetically engineered crops have been implicated in CCD for years now.

Take action!

 

 

Push Button. Save Planet.

Push button. Save planet.

By now you don’t need to be convinced that climate change is happening. Record-setting heat waves, storms, and droughts are all occurring with increased intensity and regularity, making change visible to all.

But while we’re all familiar with the problem, solutions haven’t been as simple to talk about. In fact, it often feels like there’s very little any one individual can do.

Until today.

Sign here to support the EPA’s historic limit on carbon pollution.

http://forms.climaterealityproject.org/push-button-save-planet

For the first time ever, the EPA has proposed a limit on carbon pollution. It’s a courageous and critical step toward curbing carbon emissions from fossil-fuel-fired power plants and solving the climate crisis.

And it’s your opportunity to take real action.

By clicking here you will be signing and sending a message to the White House that this measure is a step in the right direction — a direction of leadership on the issue of climate-altering carbon pollution. It could just be the most important click you ever make.

Support the EPA’s historic limit on carbon pollution — then pass this on to your friends so they can sign, too.

Push button. Save planet. (Clicking this link will automatically sign your name to the petition!)

Sincerely,

Maggie L. Fox
President and CEO
The Climate Reality Project

Take a moment to add your voice.
Tell our leaders that it’s time to real steps toward solving the climate crisis.
Push button to sign now.