October 13, 2016 Editor

An Open Letter to Michelle Obama, October 13, 2016

Please click on audio of post. NOTE: only main text read; no links, text markings, images, videos, footnotes, etc. read aloud.

WN: A friend reminded me, in response to that below, that none of us in the first world is untainted vis à vis violence. And with that taintedness is a bending at least towards hypocrisy and Pharisaism – which my friend also reminded me about.

So with that mea culpa, please read on.:

Dear Ms Obama:

Your speech October 13, 2016 in New Hampshire was powerful, direct, succinct, unequivocal – and so much more. Was it also the pot calling the kettle black?

You said:

  • – The measure of any society is its treatment of women and girls.
  • – Trump’s behaviour against women is predatory, cruel, frightening, representing terror and violation, violence and disrespect of women.
  • – You called for a standard of human decency in America that knows the difference between right and wrong.
  • – You appealed against Trump’s horrific modelling to America’s children.
  • – You said Trump’s attitude towards/treatment of women is directly opposite to how decent humans behave.
  • – You urged America’s leaders to lift others up, then unreservedly praised Hillary Clinton.
  • – You said bigotry and bullying are unacceptable.
  • – You juxtaposed Trump with America’s moral authority in the world – one you claimed is a beacon of freedom and justice for all.
  • – You admonished all people of conscience to call down Trump, invoking a kind of President who treats all people with respect.
  • – You posited the innate dignity and worth of all humans.
  • – You rejected greed, hatred and fear à la Trump.

There is no question about your passion and truth-telling! Trump by contrast is surely an inveterate liar, a rabid misogynist, and perhaps the most blatant megalomaniac ever to run for the US Presidency.

Can it be agreed though that he came by his abusive demeanour towards women “honestly”? That he exhibits ubiquitous delusional male privilege and bullying deportment since (so goes that narrative) men are central, superior and deserving? That Trump is utterly blind to this, not knowing better, though should?

And you, Ms Obama? Are you his mirror image, having come by honestly your pervasive unknowing blindness too?

The system used the main nonviolent themes of Martin Luther King’s life to present a strategy designed to protect its own interests – imagine the most violent nation on earth, the heir of Indian and African genocide, the only nation ever to drop an atomic bomb on a civilian population, the world’s biggest arms dealer, the country that napalmed over 10 million people in Vietnam (to “save” it from communism), the world’s biggest jailer, waving the corpse of King, calling for nonviolence! Mumia Abu Jamal

Do you not see:

      • – what “the greatest country on earth” has been/is doing to the rest of the planet, particularly in the Greater Middle East?
      • – that US military intervention there instigated to date an estimated death toll of between two and four million persons, and more than 20 million people in 37 “Victim Nations” since World War II, thereby creating conditions for the rise of Al Qaeda and ISIS, etc., and related international refugee crises, etc.?
      • – that Hillary Clinton is a consummate war hawk, who has fully supported ongoing American barbarity in the Greater Middle East?
      • – that your husband is widely known as “Assassin-in-Chief” in that region due to his use of ubiquitous reach killer drones that rain down terror and death on multiplied numbers of innocents each year, including (though not American) women and children?
      • – that your husband is also known as “Deporter-in-Chief” to would-be US immigrants, who will go down in history as the US president under whom the highest number of deportations has occurred — more than under all of the presidents in the century before him, combined?
      • – that your husband’s presidency has facilitated more arms sales annually throughout the world than all other countries’ arms sales combined – to make billions for voraciously greedy arms dealers in America?
      • – that your husband’s calls for gun control therefore are utterly hypocritical?
      • – that America’s foreign policy consistently pursues one overarching goal: keeping America the richest and most powerful nation on earth?
      • – the truth in Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s repeated assertion that your country is “the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today”?

        Martin Luther King Jr:

        On capitalism:

        “There is something wrong with the economic system in this country… Something is wrong with capitalism.”

        “The problems we are dealing with are not going to be solved until there is a radical redistribution of economic and political power.”

        “The evils of capitalism are as real as the evils of militarism and racism.”

        “All I have been doing in trying to correct this system in America has been in vain. The whole [system] will have to be done away with.”

        On militarism:

        “I knew I could never again raise my voice against the violence of the oppressed in the ghettos without having first spoken clearly to the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today, my own government.”

        “The United States of America is the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today.”

        “God didn’t call on America to engage in a senseless, unjust war in Vietnam. And we are criminals in that War. We’ve committed more war crimes almost than any other nation in the world, and I’m going to continue to say it. And we won’t stop it because of our pride and arrogance as a nation.”

        “A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.”

        “To pursue endless war is to worship the god of hate and bow before the altar of retaliation.”

        “How can they [America’s enemies] trust us when we… charge them with violence while we pour every new weapon of death into their land? Surely we must understand their feelings even if we do not condone their actions.”

        “We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy…”

        On racism:

        “[Black Americans] ought to come to Washington, sit down if necessary in the middle of the street and say ‘We are here, we are poor, we don’t have any money. You have made us this way, you keep us down and we’ve come to stay until you do something about it.’”

        “Many people would like to have a nation which is a democracy for white Americans but simultaneously a dictatorship over Black Americans.”

        “Even though we’ve gained legislative and judicial victories, they did very little to improve the lot of millions of Negroes in the teeming ghettoes of the North. Changes were at best surface change.” (Source)

        One Life: Martin Luther King Jr.: National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution June 28, 2013 through June 1, 2014 through June 1, 2014

        And little Parker we read about in this story could hopefully eventually be far more taken and inspired by these portraits (one of which is featured) — and the man behind them — than the hollow glamour of the wife of a hollow man filled indeed with ruling-class ideas — to the absolute disregard and far worse of the masses worldwide suffering under and immolated on the altar of American Empire hegemony.

        For another juxtaposition — between Dr. King and Billy Graham — please see here and here. A citation from the latter:

        As the article highlighted in the earlier post indicates, Graham’s message seemed powerfully at odds with that of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The one enjoyed the favour of Presidents and went peacefully to the grave, the latter was murdered for his message, likely at the hands of the U.S. government.

        And now Ms. Obama is touting a “well-scrubbed” saccharine memoir according to this article. Born with a silver spoon in her mouth? Hitched to an Uncle Tom for sure who as this article shows, is a hollow man with visions of grandeur. Mary’s Song (which never has been Michelle’s Song) each Christmas — ideally always — reminds us:

        … he has brought down the mighty from their thrones and exalted those of humble estate… (Luke 1:52)

      • – that your “greatest nation on earth” is rather the greatest bully nation on earth as in Bully Nation: How the American Establishment Creates a Bullying Society (Charles Derber And Yale Magrass)?
      • – that there is an American exceptionalism for sure on display to the world: one of spewing out death and destruction against those opposing America’s full spectrum dominance?
      • – the irony in your Nobel Peace Prize-winning husband’s recent authorization of 1 trillion dollars over 30 years to revamp the US nuclear arsenal?
      • – that your husband’s administration has perpetuated America’s lead as the most carceral nation on earth, with rampant brutality towards prisoners throughout its federal, state, and private prison systems – including its CIA black sites and Guantanamo – treatment of whom, indicated Dostoyevsky, is also measure of civil society? Your nation in this is a beacon of justice and freedom?
      • – that America’s twin foundations are genocide as described in two studies entitled American Holocaust: The Conquest of the New World (David E. Stannard), and An American Genocide: The United States and the California Indian Catastrophe, 1846-1873 (Benjamin Madley); and its original sin of slavery as in The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism (Edward E. Baptist)?
      • – that America is the most predatory nation on the planet, on many levels, an empire whose moral compass as with all empires is might is right informed by greed, fear, hatred and the unbridled drive to world domination, with massive worldwide lethal victimization, and facilitation worldwide of Grand Larceny of resources and goods its signature, in the face of all human decency and the innate dignity and worth of all people on the planet, of the Good Creation?

      Is it possible, Ms Obama, that American (violent) exceptionalism to the world is Donald Trump (violent) exceptionalism towards women?

      Sincerely

      Wayne Northey

Please also click on: US Arms Business

  1. [1]Please look at several articles as well on American/Western will to world domination by clicking on "Selected Articles: Western Aggression Backed by Western Media”. The series of articles is introduced thus:
    The Western allies never run dry of resources to support their global war of terror and aggression, ostensibly an integral part of their foreign policy. They dynamically legislate laws lest the people awaken. They have the unbending support of the corporate media, which skilfully distorts reality. When will they ever back down from their destructive quest for colonies? Read our selection below.
  2. [2]It continued:
    ‘For seven months, Tiger Force soldiers moved across the Central Highlands, killing scores of unarmed civilians – in some cases torturing and mutilating them - in a spate of violence never revealed to the American public,’ the newspaper said, at other points describing the killing of hundreds of unarmed civilians. ‘Women and children were intentionally blown up in underground bunkers,’ The Blade said. ‘Elderly farmers were shot as they toiled in the fields. Prisoners were tortured and executed - their ears and scalps severed for souvenirs. One soldier kicked out the teeth of executed civilians for their gold fillings.”   The New York Times confirmed the claimed accuracy of the stories by contacting several of those interviewed.  It reported: “But they wanted to make another point: that Tiger Force had not been a ‘rogue’ unit. Its members had done only what they were told, and their superiors knew what they were doing. “Burning huts and villages, shooting civilians and throwing grenades into protective shelters were common tactics for American ground forces throughout Vietnam, they said. That contention is backed up by accounts of journalists, historians and disillusioned troops… ‘Vietnam was an atrocity from the get-go,’ [one veteran] said in a recent telephone interview. ‘It was that kind of war, a frontless war of great frustration. There were hundreds of My Lais. You got your card punched by the numbers of bodies you counted.’ Current likely Democratic Presidential candidate John Kerry was also quoted giving evidence before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in 1971.  He reported that American soldiers in Vietnam had “raped, cut off heads, taped wires from portable telephones to human genitals and turned up the power, cut off limbs, blown up bodies, randomly shot at civilians, razed villages in fashion reminiscent of Genghis Khan, shot cattle and dogs for fun, poisoned food stocks and generally ravaged the countryside of South Vietnam in addition to the normal ravage of war, and the normal and very particular ravaging which is done by the applied bombing power of this country. Nicholas Turse [later author of: Kill Anything That Moves: The Real American War in Vietnam], a doctoral candidate at Columbia University, has been studying government archives and said they were filled with accounts of similar atrocities. ''I stumbled across the incidents The Blade reported,'' Mr. Turse said by telephone. ''I read through that case a year, year and a half ago, and it really didn't stand out. There was nothing that made it stand out from anything else. That's the scary thing. It was just one of hundreds.'' Yet there were few prosecutions.
  3. [3]Historian John Coatsworth in The Cambridge History of the Cold War noted:
    Between 1960, by which time the Soviets had dismantled Stalin's gulags, and the Soviet collapse in 1990, the numbers of political prisoners, torture victims, and executions of nonviolent political dissenters in Latin America vastly exceeded those of the Soviet Union and its East European satellites. In other words, from 1960 to 1990, the Soviet bloc as a whole was less repressive, measured in terms of human victims, than many individual Latin American countries [under direct sway of US Empire] ("The Cold War in Central America", pp. 216 - 221).
    What was true for Latin America was true for around the world: massive human rights abuses, assassinations, regime changes of democratically elected governments, etc., etc., etc. orchestrated by US Empire. Yet Americans invariably have wanted it both ways: to be seen as the exemplary "City on A Hill" that upholds universal human rights and democracy, while operating a brutal Empire directly contrary to all such elevated values, and a concomitant rapacious Empire market economy that takes no prisoners. This began of course even before the founding of the United States of America and continued apace, in its mass slaughter and dispossession of indigenous peoples, in its brutal system of slavery on which its obscene wealth in the textile industry in the first place was built. "The Land of the Free" conceit was a sustained con job on the part of America's leaders. It was also apotheosis of hypocrisy. American exceptionalism was/is true in one respect only: it was brutal like no other Empire in its eventual global reach.
  4. [5]
  5. [4] The highlighted article about renowned whistle-blower Daniel Ellsberg points to again what is utterly chilling, horror-filled, exponentially beyond immoral, American (hence the world's) reality: "Daniel Ellsberg: U.S. Military Planned First Strike On Every City In Russia and China … and Gave Many Low-Level Field Commanders the Power to Push the Button". [5]He has since written The Doomsday Machine: Confessions of a Nuclear War Planner. Of it we read:
    Shortlisted for the 2018 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction Finalist for the California Book Award in Nonfiction The San Francisco Chronicle's Best of 2017 List In These Times “Best Books of 2017” Huffington Post's Ten Excellent December Books List LitHub's “Five Books Making News This Week” From the legendary whistle-blower who revealed the Pentagon Papers, an eyewitness exposé of the dangers of America's Top Secret, seventy-year-long nuclear policy that continues to this day. Here, for the first time, former high-level defense analyst Daniel Ellsberg reveals his shocking firsthand account of America's nuclear program in the 1960s. From the remotest air bases in the Pacific Command, where he discovered that the authority to initiate use of nuclear weapons was widely delegated, to the secret plans for general nuclear war under Eisenhower, which, if executed, would cause the near-extinction of humanity, Ellsberg shows that the legacy of this most dangerous arms buildup in the history of civilization--and its proposed renewal under the Trump administration--threatens our very survival. No other insider with high-level access has written so candidly of the nuclear strategy of the late Eisenhower and early Kennedy years, and nothing has fundamentally changed since that era.
  6. [6]A classic instance of this aligning with "just war" is the United States' "war on drugs" as subset of "war on crime", while at the same time the CIA was a major worldwide drug dealer in league with other drug cartels -- all done to enhance American Empire during the Cold War -- and continues to the present. The four-part series mentioned below connects American Empire drug dealing to the current War on Terror, in particular in Afghanistan. This of course is colossal hypocrisy as well. Worse: the series posits American federal government administrations over many decades as the Ultimate Drug Cartel, with Blacks, Latinos, and generally the poor directly being knowingly poisoned en masse. Then they have been primary targets of the Drug Enforcement Agency, and thereby become victims of America's too often savage prison system that oppresses and brutalizes them all over again... See: "The War on Drugs Is a Failure, So [Attorney General] Jeff Sessions Is All for It". A citation from the article reads:
    In June [2017], the History Channel aired a four-part documentary series called America’s War on Drugs.” The series asserts that the war on drugs was actually a war of drugs—and that the CIA was essentially a partner in spreading drugs and drug use. The series follows how the U.S. intelligence agency, in an obsession with fighting communism, allied itself with U.S. organized crime and foreign drug traffickers and includes firsthand accounts from many involved. In an interview with Truthdig columnist Sonali Kolhatkar on her radio program “Rising Up With Sonali,” the series’ executive producer, Anthony Lappé, explains why the CIA got involved:
    It’s actually a pretty mind-blowing story when you look at the extent to which the CIA was involved with drug traffickers and drug trafficking throughout the Cold War. … If you look at Cold War policy against the Soviet Union, we were locked in a global battle for supremacy, where we have lots of proxy wars going on. … We needed to team up with local allies, and often the local allies we were teaming up with were people who had access to guns, who had access to underground networks, to help us fight the perceived threat of communism. There are actually a lot of similarities between what drug traffickers do and what the CIA does.
    Lappé elaborates by saying the hypocrisy of the war on drugs has been evident from the start: Secret CIA experiments with LSD helped fuel the counterculture movement, leading to President Richard Nixon’s crackdown and declaration of the war on drugs. The series also explores the CIA’s role in the rise of crack cocaine in poor black communities and a secret island “cocaine base.” In addition the documentary makes the connection between the war on drugs, the war on terror and the transformation of Afghanistan into a narco state and contends that American intervention in Mexico helped give clout to Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán and the super cartels, making it easier to send drugs across American borders. Watch Kolhatkar’s full interview with Lappé by clicking here. Please also see the now classic: The Politics of Heroin: CIA Complicity in the Global Drug Trade, by noted American historian Alfred McCoy. Of it we read:
    The first book to prove CIA and U.S. government complicity in global drug trafficking, The Politics of Heroin includes meticulous documentation of dishonesty and dirty dealings at the highest levels from the Cold War until today. Maintaining a global perspective, this groundbreaking study details the mechanics of drug trafficking in Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and South and Central America. New chapters detail U.S. involvement in the narcotics trade in Afghanistan and Pakistan before and after the fall of the Taliban, and how U.S. drug policy in Central America and Colombia has increased the global supply of illicit drugs.
    To be noted as well is Johann Hari's Chasing The Scream, which tells the tragic tale of America's long-standing offensive against drugs, and the way to end such a war worldwide -- that several nations are successfully embracing.

Editor

Wayne Northey was Director of Man-to-Man/Woman-to-Woman – Restorative Christian Ministries (M2/W2) in British Columbia, Canada from 1998 to 2014, when he retired. He has been active in the criminal justice arena and a keen promoter of Restorative Justice since 1974. He has published widely on peacemaking and justice themes. You will find more about that on this website: a work in progress.

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